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Virgin and Child

A work made of ivory.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of ivory.




Northern France

About this artwork

This seated Virgin and Child was carved in the middle of the 13th century, a time when private devotional practices became increasingly popular. In bedchambers or in small oratories, private domestic spaces set aside for prayer, images like this would have served as focal points for prayer and meditation. During the High Middle Ages, the Virgin was revered as a powerful intercessor between humanity and Christ. At the same time, she was also worshipped as the Queen of Heaven. Although the Virgin’s crown has been damaged and the gesture of her right hand is no longer clear, the figure group combines austere majesty and tenderness.


On View, Gallery 236


Painting and Sculpture of Europe


Virgin and Child


France (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.





22.4 × 9.5 cm (8 7/8 × 3 3/4 in.)

Credit Line

Kate S. Buckingham Endowment

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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