Virgin and Child, Veit Stoss

Virgin and Child, Veit Stoss

Virgin and Child
Veit Stoss
Nuremberg
About 1500-1505
Boxwood, glazed with traces of gilding
Height 20.3cm x width 7cm Depth 6cm
Museum No. 646-1893

This carving of the Virgin and Child is inspired by a passage in the Bible (Revelation 12:1) which describes a woman 'clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet.' Its small size and its wonderfully detailed, delicate execution on all sides, suggest it was executed for a wealthy collector.  In the 1500s it became fashionable to collect such statuettes, and German artist Veit Stoss's work was much in demand across Europe. In Italy the artist and biographer Giorgio Vasari (1511-1574) described Stoss' work as 'a miracle in wood'.