The Virgin and Child

Desiderio da Settignano, Italian (active Florence), 1429/32 - 1464

Made in Florence, Italy, Europe

c. 1455-1460


23 1/4 x 16 3/4 x 2 5/8 inches (59.1 x 42.5 x 6.7 cm)

Curatorial Department:
European Decorative Arts and Sculpture

* Gallery 251, European Art 1500-1850, second floor

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased with the W. P. Wilstach Fund from the Edmond Foulc Collection, 1930

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Additional information:
  • PublicationPhiladelphia Museum of Art Handbook (2014 Edition)

    Among the innovations of the great Renaissance sculptor Donatello was rilievo schiacciato (flattened relief), a form of carving that employs line and slight variations of surface depth to achieve its refined effects. Here Desiderio da Settignano, Donatello’s most accomplished successor in this demanding technique, has transformed a familiar Renaissance religious subject into an image of atmospheric, unearthly delicacy that retains a tender intimacy through the engaging expressions of the Virgin and Child. Acquired as part of the important collection of Edmond Foulc, this remarkable masterpiece was realized through a near-miraculous manipulation of the marble’s shallow surface. Jack Hinton, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Handbook. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2014, p. 101.

* Works in the collection are moved off view for many different reasons. Although gallery locations on the website are updated regularly, there is no guarantee that this object will be on display on the day of your visit.