Virgo Lactans

Antonio Begarelli

Modena, c.1499 – 1565


Terracotta, height 63cm

This delicate statuette, bought on 6 August 1889 from the antiquarian Luigi Giusti, bears no trace of the original polychromy that undoubtedly imitated the surface of marble. The Madonna is characterised by her elaborate hair arrangement and voluminous drapery that elegantly and naturally envelops her body as she sits upon a cloud, intent on feeding the Christ Child. In its balanced mixtures of references to both Raphael and Correggio’s, this work is representative of the great Modenese sculptor’s style around the mid-1530s.