Hans Harthauser, Ravensburg, beginning 16th century
Silver, embossed, parcel gilt
overall height 57.7 cm
An octagonal console with engraved, patterned sides carries the mound upon which the Virgin stands. She wears a crown and has long hair. The stiff posture of body and head and the presentation of the figure as a compact drapery covered form make her appear somewhat remote. The naked Christchild, who has an almost putto like quality in his lively articulation and movement, nearly slips out of the Virgin's barely visible hands. The subtle use of decorative gilding and the delicate setting of jewels around the Virgin's neckline complement the restrained character of this statuette. The rather shallow and straight folds of the garment avoid the kind of virtuoso treatment of drapery that was widespread in the period around 1500. As was often the case with such statuettes, the figure probably reproduces a wooden prototype in the so called 'Schönen Madonnen' (beautiful Madonna) style. The prototype is most likely to have been carved in the Ulm Swabia region.