This Image of the standing Virgin and Child reveals a profound change in the Image of the Virgin that occurred by the early fourteenth century. Rather than confronting the viewer frontally in the Romanesque manner, here the mother and her child engage in an intimate, human relationship. The child energetically grasps the Virgin's mantle in his right hand as he leans back to peer into her face. Giovanni di Balduccio was born in Pisa and worked in Tuscany during his early years, moving north to Lombardy in the mid-1330s.
Artist Giovanni Balduccio, Italian, 1300-1360
  • Madonna and Child
Date ca. between 1332 and 1334
Medium marble
Dimensions Overall (sculpture): 32 × 11 3/4 × 8 1/4 inches (81.3 × 29.8 × 21 cm)
Overall (pedestal): 46 1/2 × 29 × 25 inches (118.1 × 73.7 × 63.5 cm)
Credit Line Founders Society Purchase, Elizabeth P. Kirby Fund
Accession Number 37.140
Department European Sculpture and Dec Arts
On View European: Medieval and Renaissance W251, Level 2 (see map)
Richard Mortimer (Tuxedo, New York, USA);
September 24-25, 1937, sold by (American Art Association, Anderson Galleries, New York, New York, USA) Elenore J. Mortimer Sale;
1937-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)
Valentiner, Wilhelm R. "Werke um Giovanni Pisano in Amerika." Zeitschrift für Bildende Kunst, N.F., 31 (1919-1920): pp. 111-114 (ill.).

Valentiner, Wilhelm R. Italian Gothic and Early Renaissance Sculptures. Exh. cat. 1930, no. 9 (ill.).

Exhibition and Public Sale on the Premises, Property of the Estate of the Late Elenore J. Mortimer comprising the contents of Mortimer, Tuxedo Park. Sales cat., Anderson Galleries. New York, September 24-25, 1937, p. 35, no. 175.

"Outstanding Italian Sculptures Added." Bulletin of the DIA: Annual Report 17 (February 1938): pp. 33, 41, no. 5.

Carli, Enzo. Sculture Pisane di Giovanni di Balduccio. Emporium 97 (1943).

Gnudi, Cesare. "Un'altro frammento dell'altare Bolognese di Giovanni di Balduccio." Belle Arti 1 (1947): pp. 171-173.

Valentiner, Wilhelm R. "Notes of Giovanni Balducci and Trecento Sculpture in Northern Italy." Art Quarterly 10, no. 1 (Winter 1947): pp. 40-60 (fig. 3); p. 45 (ill.).

Darr, Alan P. "A Valentiner Legacy: Italian Sculpture in Detroit." Apollo 124 (December 1986): pp. 477-478.

Medica, M. Un San Domenico per l'altare bolognese di Giovanni di Balduccio, Arte a Bologna, Bollettino dei musei civici d'arte antica (1991): p.18.

Medica, M. Giovanni di Balduccio: Nativita (Ospiti 3). Exh. cat., Musei Civici d'Arte Antica. Bologna, 1996.

Darr, Alan P., Peter Barnet, Antonia Boström, Charles Avery, et al. Catalogue of Italian Sculpture in the Detroit Institute of Arts. London, 2002, 2 vols., I, cat. 38.

Caglioti, Francesco. "Giovanni di Balduccio a Bologna: l''Annunciazione' per la rocca papale di Porta Galliera (con una digressione sulla cronologia napoletana e bolognese di Giotto)." Prospettiva 117-118 (January -April 2005): pp. 21-62, (ill.), 31-32, 50, p. 57 no. 53 (ill.).

Mark Gregory D'Apuzzo, “Giovanni di Balduccio, Saint Pierre Martyr (Notice 3)," Bologne et le pontifical d'Autun. Exh. Cat. Ville d'Autun, Musee Rolin, Autun, 2012, pp. 69-71 (ill.).