French; Made in Burgundy
Birch with paint; H. 40 1/2 in. (102.9 cm)
The Cloisters Collection, 1947 (47.101.15)
This type of sculpture, with the Christ Child seated in the Virgin's lap in a frontal pose, is known as a Sedes Sapientiae (Throne of Wisdom). These seemingly straightforward images convey complex theological ideas. Mary, the bearer of God, serves as Christ's throne. Like his ancestors King David and King Solomon, he possesses wisdom and justice. Christ holds a Bible, the divine wisdom that he himself embodies.