(b. 1475, Caprese, d. 1564, Roma)

Madonna and Child

Marble, height 128 cm (including base)
O.L. Vrouwekerk, Bruges

The Bruges Madonna is a finished statue of the Virgin and Child bought by the Flemish merchant Alexander Mouscron and shipped to Bruges in 1506. It is one of Michelangelo's most accomplished carvings. The apparently simple and compact relationship between Child and Virgin was carefully calculated to take account of its intended position in the church, about which he obviously had reliable information. (Ironically, it was subsequently positioned incorrectly in the niche made for it at Bruges.)

The group strikingly contrasts a cool and hieratic figure of the Virgin with an animated Christ Child whose subtly twisting body she encloses and protects as though he were still sheltered within her body.