Virgin and Child

Virgin and Child

Purchased from Giuseppe de Ricco in 1891 for £2 18s 6d (20 lire)

Original:

Virgin and Child
Master of the Piccolomini Madonna (active ? 1450-1500)
Mid 15th century
Marble
Chigi-Saraceni Collection, Siena, Italy

This is one of a series of nine reliefs repeating the same central motif which have been grouped around a single artist, the Master of the Piccolomini Madonna. Seven of these reliefs differ so radically that they cannot be given to one artist. The attribution does, however, seem justified, when applied to the versions in the Louvre and in Siena (shown in this cast), which are identical in composition and appear to be by the same hand. They both bear the Piccolomini arms and have provenances linked with the Piccolomini family, as they came from Pienza and the Palazzo Piccolomini (delle Papesse) in Siena respectively. A lost model by Donatello (1386-1466) has been proposed for the motif of the Virgin and Child, but the composition is not particularly reminiscent of Donatello.