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211

Central French, circa 1450-1475

The Virgin of the Annunciation

Central French, circa 1450-1475

Central French, circa 1450-1475

The Virgin of the Annunciation

The Virgin of the Annunciation

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Central French, circa 1450-1475

The Virgin of the Annunciation


limestone

49.5cm., 19½in.

The nose, eyes, forehead, and front part of the Virgin's circlet have been restored at some point in its history, probably as the result of an iconoclastic attack on the figure's face. The proper left forearm and lifted pages of the book are also restored. The proper right hand and forearm are lost. There are some minor abrasions and chips, including to the edges of the drapery. There is a larger chip and insert or reattachment to the drapery at the back on the proper right side. Otherwise the condition is good, with minor surface dirt and wear consistent with age.


The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

Please note that this lot should have a W symbol in the catalogue. This will be sent to Greenford Park immediately after the sale.
This graceful sculpture portrays the Virgin in full length, kneeling before a prie-dieu on which an open book lies; her fine hand seemingly turning a page in the book. The Virgin’s torso subtly turns to the left in an elegant twist. Her full-length dress follows the contours of her upper body and ends in voluminous folds extending over her legs. She wears a fine girdle just above her hips, which hangs towards the ground. A sophisticated fur-lined mantle is draped over her shoulders, held in place with a double-stranded cord across her chest. 

The figure was originally part of an Annunciation group that included the Angel Gabriel, illustrating the scene from the Gospel of Luke (1:26-38) in which the Angel disturbs the youthful Virgin from her reading to deliver the message that she bears the son of God.

The striking contrast of the Virgin's figure-hugging dress and the weighty folds of her mantle demonstrates noteworthy skill. The overall treatment of the stone, the Virgin’s garments, and the studded circlet around her head indicate a dating in the third quarter of the fifteenth century. Later restorations to parts of the figure attest that it was probably a victim of iconoclasm.

A larger version of the same composition, carved in north-central France circa 1480, is in the Godwin-Ternbach Museum, Flushing (Holladay and Ward, op. cit., pp. 79-80). Another comparable figure, thought to have been made in Normandy around 1490, is in the Musée de Cluny, Paris (inv. no. Cl. 23796).

RELATED LITERATURE
J. A. Holladay and S. L. Ward, Gothic Sculpture in America Vol. III. The Museums of New York and Pennsylvania, New York, 2016, pp. 79-80