This sculpture-damaged during the 19th century and now missing the figure of the Christ child-is a fine early example of the type known as the SchĂ¶ne Madonna or "Beautiful Virgin." This type became popular around 1400 and emphasized the graceful curve of the Virginâ€™s posture combined with deep, slightly exaggerated drapery folds. This sculpture is known to have come from the Church of Mariapfarr in the Diocese of Salzburg.
It was made using a casting technique known as "lost shape." The casting consisted of pulverized limestone combined with quicklime and milk curd poured into a mold. After the cement-like mixture set for several weeks, the mold was destroyed to remove the sculpture, which could then be filed, polished, and painted.