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Relief of the Virgin and Child

Artist: Michelozzo di Bartolomeo
(Florence 1396 – 1472 Florence)

Date: 1437–1438
Medium: gilded terracotta
Dimensions: 76.5 × 55.5 × 7 cm, 40 kg
Classification: relief
Inventory Number: 1170
Department: Sculpture

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Relief of the Virgin and Child

Michelozzo worked with two of the leading masters of Florentine Quattrocento; he was a pupil of Ghiberti and later became a partner of Donatello. The artist was trained as a goldsmith and later received important commissions – primarily for sepulchral monuments. On the high relief shown here, which was produced c. 1437–38, Donatello’s influence can be observed on the Virgin’s head type and Ghiberti’s on the shaping of the Child’s figure. The lively and elegant half-length group is raised in front of a gilt background, framed by a niche crowned by a shell-motif. The figures were originally painted; traces of the blue paint on the Virgin’s robes have survived.