H. 37 cm. W. 13 cm. D. 10 cm.
The iconographic depiction of the ‘Virgo Lactans’, or ‘Milk-feeding Virgin’, has a Byzantine origin, and emphasizes the motherhood of St. Mary. She is depicted with long loose-hanging hair, wearing a wide and heavy robe, adorned with a tasselled clasp. The Virgin offers the Christ Child, depicted here as an unconscious infant, her revealed bosom.
The refined quality and great realism, especially in regard to the face of the Virgin and the anatomy of the Infant, are rare for the period and clearly reveal the influence of the sculptor Conrat Meit (Worms, 1470/1485 - Antwerp, 1550/1551). Especially the high, round forehead, the double chin and broad hips are characteristic for his style. The composition of the sculpture is related to a Madonna-type that can be traced to the Northern Renaissance artist Bernard van Orley (Brussel, 1487/1491 – 1541).
Private collection, Brussels, Belgium