Romanesque enthroned MadonnaItem Code HCM 001
Mary is shown as Theotokos (Mother of God), or Sedes Sapientiae [Seat of Wisdom]. The Christ child is missing from her lap. Mary is seated on a high-backed throne, decorated with flowers and geometric motifs on three sides, with the back undecorated and hollowed out to prevent the wood from cracking. Much of the original twelfth century paint remains. Mary is dressed in a fine red gown, gathered into an elaborate belt, with a brooch at her neck and a richly embroidered blue mantle. Her long, oval face, together with some foreshortening of the neck and upper body, suggests that this statue was intended to be viewed from below; many of these madonnas were made to stand on altars or plinths. They were often carried in processions and used in liturgical dramas. The statue dates from the early 12th century and may come from the Lower Rhine area of Germany.