The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Virgin and Child before a niche
  • Follower of Donatello (Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi) (1386 - 1466)
  • Virgin and Child before a niche
  • Florence, Italy
  • 15th century
  • Plaquette
  • Brass copper alloy. After-cast.
  • Height: 9.25 cm
    Width: 7.5 cm
  • Inscription: On reverse, in pencil, ‘3503’(?), '350' crossed out, '300'
  • S300
  • Sixteenth Century Gallery
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • This plaquette and S299 replicate a model considered to be very close to Donatello (Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi, 1386/7-1466). The top of the background has here been cut away in the model leaving the Virgin and Child's heads silhouetted, while the lowest parts of the niche have been turned into finials for a throne.

    There are very stringent similarities with Virgin and Child compositions Donatello produced during the 1420s and 30s, such as the Pazzi Madonna (Staatliche Museen, Berlin) and the Torrigiani Madonna (Museo del Bargello, Florence). Some scholars, however, have rejected an attribution of the design to the master himself, pointing out that this composition only appears in plaquette form.

    It seems likely, however, that the model was devised in Florence during the 1430s reflecting Donatello and his followers' interest in developing the motive of the shell niche a decade earlier.

    S300 might have been cast from another plaquette, as the closed hole at the bottom suggests. I is therefore probably a later cast than the closely related S299.