This extremely rare Romanesque wood sculpture depicts the Virgin Mary’s role in important Christian doctrine. It belongs to a type known as Sedes Sapientiae (the Throne of Wisdom). The subject shows the Virgin Mary’s role as principal mediator between God and man in the Incarnation, the moment in which Christ became human. In this sculpture, Mary is seated frontally and hieratically on a throne.
With the Christmas holiday season in full swing, we asked Heather Lemonedes, Curator of Drawings, to discuss inspirations and influences of Madonna and Child imagery in the work of Mary Cassatt. Mary Cassatt and the Feminine Ideal in 19th-Century Paris is on view through January 21, 2013.