Limewood sculpture of the Virgin with St. Anne

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First quarter 16th century
Gilded limewood, original polychromy and gilt
36.5 cm
32 cm
7.5 cm

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This limewood sculpture depicts St. Anne teaching the Virgin Mary. The Virgin holds a closed book in her left hand, while her mother, St. Anne, teaches her to read. This story is described in Legenda Aurea, or the Golden Legend; a collection of stories collected by Jacobus de Vargine, about the lives of the saints. Both of the women are wearing long robes and cloaks, the Virgin has a headscarf, whereas the hair of St. Anne is visible. St. Anne lifts her left hand in both an explaining and blessing gesture, and holds a part of her robe in her right hand. The right hand of Mary is missing. The limewood sculpture has many traces of the original gilding and polychromy, especially on the robes of the women. A pattern is visible on the inside of the cloak of St. Anne.


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