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The half-length image of the Virgin and Child, made for contemplation in private homes, was in great demand in 15th-century Florence. This early masterpiece by Benedetto condenses layers of meaning into a simple composition. With one hand, the Christ child touches the cords of his mother's cloak, suggesting the ropes that will later bind him; with the other, he clings to her veil, a reference to the shroud that will envelop Christ's body in the tomb. His vigorous upward movement signals the final act of the drama: escape from the tomb and resurrection. While the Virgin meditates on what is to unfold, her son embraces his future in joyous exuberance.


Stefano Bardini [1836-1922], Florence, in 1893.[1] Prince Johan II of Liechtenstein [1840-1929], Vienna, by 1896;[2] Prince Franz I of Liechtenstein [1853-1938]; Prince Franz Josef II of Liechtenstein [1906-1989]; acquired 2 April 1953 by (J. Seligmann & Co., New York);[3] sold 1954 to the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, New York; gift 1960 to NGA.

Exhibition History

Italian Renaissance Sculpture in the Time of Donatello, Detroit Institute of Arts; Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas; Forte Belvedere, Florence, Italy, 1985-1986, no. 64 (English cat.), no. 99 (Italian cat.), repro.


Bode, Wilhelm von. Denkmäler der Renaissance-Sculptur Toscanas in historischer Anordung. 17 vols. plates; 1 vol. text. Munich, 1892-1905: text vol.:103, pl. 329a.
Bode, Wilhelm von. Die Fürstlich Leichtensteinsche Gemäldegalerie. Vienna, 1896: 130.
Schubring, Paul. Die Italienische Plastik des Quattrocento. Berlin, c. 1919: 157, 281, fig. 208, as by Benedetto da Maiano.
Dussler, Luitpold. Benedetto da Majano: ein Florentiner Bildhauer des späten Quattrocento. Munich, 1924: 82, as Benedetto da Maiano.
Kronfeld, Adolf. Führer durch die Fürstlich-Liechtensteinsche Gemäldegalerie in Wien. Vienna, 1927: XVII.
Weinberger, Martin and Wilhelm von Bode. "Unbeachtete Werke der Brüder Rossellino." Münchener Jahrbuch der bildenden Kunst Band V (1928): 99.
Gottschalk, Heinz. Antonio Rossellino. Liegnitz, 1930: 96, as Benedetto da Maiano.
Schottmüller, Frida. Die Italienischen und Spanischen Bildwerke der Renaissance und des Barock. Berlin, 1933: I: 49, no. 90.
Kronfeld, Adolf. Führer durch die Fürstlich-Liechtensteinsche Gemäldegalerie in Wien. Vienna, 1931: XVIII.
Duveen Brothers, Inc. Duveen Sculpture in Public Collections of America: A Catalog Raisonné with illustrations of Italian Renaissance Sculptures by the Great Masters which have passed through the House of Duveen. New York, 1944: figs. 163-164.
Paintings and Sculpture from the Kress Collection. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1945 (reprinted 1947, 1949): 188, repro.
Jacques Seligmann & Co., Inc. A Catalogue of Seven Marble Sculptures of the Italian Trecento and Quattrocento from the Collection of his Highness the Prince of Liechtenstein. New York, 1954: 28-29, repro.
Paintings and Sculpture from the Kress Collection Acquired by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation 1951-56. Introduction by John Walker, text by William E. Suida and Fern Rusk Shapley. National Gallery of Art. Washington, 1956: 212, no. 84, repro.
Paintings and Sculpture from the Samuel H. Kress Collection. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1959: 406, repro.
Seligman, Germain. Merchants of Art: 1880-1960, Eighty Years of Professional Collecting. New York, 1961: 256, 281 repro. pl. 115.
Walker, John, Guy Emerson, and Charles Seymour. Art Treasures for America: An Anthology of Paintings & Sculpture in the Samuel H. Kress Collection. London, 1961: 37, repro.
Summary Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1965: 146.
National Gallery of Art. European Paintings and Sculpture, Illustrations. Washington, 1968: 130, repro.
Balogh, Jolán. Katalog der ausländischen Bildwerke des Museums der bildenden Künste in Budapest, IV.—XVIII. Jahrhundert. 2 vols. Budapest, 1975: 1:74-75, no. 72; 2: repro. pl. 98.
Middeldorf, Ulrich. Sculptures from the Samuel H. Kress Collection: European Schools XIV-XIX Century. London, 1976: 31.
Cecchetti, Maria. Museo Internazionale delle Ceramiche di Faenza. Targhe devozionali dell’Emilia Romagna Faenza, 1984: 56-58, 66-67, 144-147 no. 8-11, 157-159 no. 18-19.
Radke, Gary M. "The Sources and Composition of Benedetto da Maiano's San Savino Monument in Faenza." Studies in the History of Art 18 (1985):22, repro.
Kecks, Ronald G. Madonna und Kind. Das häusliche Andachtsbild im Florenz des 15. Jahrhunderts. Berlin, 1988: 39, 55, 117-118, 139-140, pl. XLIII, fig. 73.
Lein, Edgar. Benedetto da Maiano. Frankfurt am Main, 1988: 225.
Gentilini, Giancarlo. In Maria Pia Mannini, Il Museo Civico di Prato. Le collezioni d’arte. Florence, 1990: 95-97, no. 28.
Sculpture: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1994: 28, repro.
Wilson, Timothy. Italian Maiolica of the Renaissance. Milan, 1996: 413-415, no. 161, repro. 413.
Cecchetti, Maria. Museo Internazionale delle Ceramiche di Faenza. Targhe devozionali dell’Emilia Romagna. Second edition, Faenza, 2000: 49-51, 62-65, 72-73, 112, 114, 129, 178-181, nos. 8-11 (repro. 179), 191 -193 no. 18-19, 216-221 no. 44-50a, 239 no. 72-73
Kent, Francis William. Lorenzo de’ Medici and the Art of Magnificence. Baltimore and London, 2004: 77, fig. 19.
Carl, Doris. Benedetto da Maiano. A Florentine Sculptor at the Threshold of the High Renaissance. 2 vols. Turnhout, Belgium, 2006: text:54-56, 61-64, 72-73, 103; illustrations:37, pl. 15.

Bellandi, Alfredo. In La scultura in cartapesta. Sansovino, Bernini e I Maestri leccesi tra tecnica e artificio. Exh. cat., Museo Diocesano, Milan, 2008: 28-33, 36, repro., 37, no. 2.
Vaccari, Maria Grazia. “Modelli e livelli nella scultura votiva e devozionale in cartapesta e polimaterica. Qualche riflessione.” In Raffaele Casciaro, ed. Cartapesta e scultura polimaterica. Atti del convegno 9-10 maggio 2008. Galatina, 2012: 77-84, esp. 81.
Langhanke, Birgit. Die Madonnenreliefs im Werk von Antonio Rossellino. Ph.D. diss. Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, 2013: 157-158, 247-248, 260, 266, 335, repro. fig. 109.
Eleonora Belli. Madonne Bardini. I rilievi Mariani del secondo Quattrocento fiorentino. Madonna Reliefs from the Second Half of the Florentine Quattrocento. Ed. Antonella Nesi. Florence, 2017: 148-153 and 210—211, repro. 150
Wheelock, Arthur K., Jr. "In Pursuit of Masterpieces: The National Gallery of Art’s Acquisitions from the Prince of Liechtenstein." Artibus et historiae 42, no. 83 (2021): 329 n. 21.

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