The present wood carving of the Virgin and Child follows a composition often referred to as Sedes sapientiae
, an arrangement which has its roots in the Byzantine tradition of presenting the Virgin frontally, enthroned, with the Christ Child seated on Her left leg. The Sedes sapientiae
composition was central to the Marian cult during Romanesque times, with the Virgin appearing in her dual role both as Mother of God and of man, simultaneously presented with Christ seated on Her knee, whilst being enthroned as Queen of Heaven.
Compare to the two Milanese stone groups of the Virgin and Child from the Loggia degli Osii and the Ospedale Maggiore illustrated in the catalogue for an exhibition by Galleria nella Longari, 1997, pp. 34-36, especially for the drapery, juxtaposition of the two figures and the frontal presentation. The frontal gaze of the Virgin and monumental form are also reminiscent of the elaborate Virgin and Child
by Andriolo de Santi from the Tympanum from the church of San Lorenzo, Vicenza (Poeschke, op. cit.
, fig. 256).
J. Poeschke, Die Skulptur des Mittelalters in Italien: Gotik, Munich, 2000, fig. 256