Category:Standing Virgin and Child (Nicolaus Gerhaert van Leyden)
Gerhaert was one of the finest and most influential sculptor active in the third quarter of the fifteenth century, a pivotal period in the development of late Gothic sculpture in northern Europe. Gerhaert was either born or trained in Leiden and was later active in Strasbourg and Vienna. There are only four works in wood that, though undocumented, have been seriously considered as coming from his hand.This statuette expresses a combined sense of drama, monumentality, and elegance through the extraordinarily accomplished carving of the fine-grained wood. Among the naturalistic details that subtly enhance the total form is the delicate manner in which the Virgin's fingertips press into the chubby flesh of the child. Intended as an object of private devotion and continuing a long tradition in the use of boxwood for this purpose, it may well have been commissioned by a member of the imperial court in Vienna. The dark base with the fictive Dürer monogram and date on the back is from the nineteenth century. Both arms of the child and the section of drapery held in his left hand must date from this period as well.