Hungarian National Gallery English



From the Church of SS. Philip and James, Toporc

C. 1340-1350
Wooden sculpture , Wood
115,5 cm

Inv.: 55.900
Location: Building D, Ground Floor


Dating to around 1320-1330, the Madonna from Toporc (today: Toporec, Slovakia) in the Spiš region, with her thick-set figure, kind smile and body curved in a slight S-shape, reminds us of the earlier stone Madonnas from the portals of French cathedrals. The statue is interesting because the head of the Child Jesus can be rotated to the right and left with the help of a string. During the Middle Ages, these "active statues" that could be moved surreptitiously intensified the religious devotion of the viewer, and helped him to better experience the liturgy. In this case, the apparently miraculous movement probably accompanied a dialogue between Mary and Jesus in a liturgical play.