Virgin and Child

Reference URL

Virgin and Child 15th century
The arched frame around the relief sculpture of the Virgin Mary, who supports the standing Christ Child, enhances the illusion of their appearance at a window. They would have seemed more naturalistic and striking to contemporary viewers because the terracotta clay (baked earth) the relief is made from was originally painted in bright colours. The Christ Child raises his hand in blessing and looks outwards towards the viewer. Devotional reliefs of this type were popularised by Donatello and were attached to interior and exterior walls.

Glossary Open

Devotional art

Religious images used privately as a focus of prayer or an aid to meditation.


Art based on the observation of objects rather than on theoretical or stylistic concerns.


A form of sculpture where the image or design projects from a flat surface types of which include, bas-relief or low relief.

Devotional art, Naturalism, Relief


  • Acc. No. NG 2665
  • Medium Terracotta
  • Size Height: 149.00 cm (including frame) 74.00 x 36.00 cm (Case size: 137.16 x 106.68 x 30.48 cm)
  • Credit Purchased by the Patrons of the National Galleries of Scotland 1997