(b. 1475, Caprese, d. 1564, Roma)
Marble, height 226 cm
Sagrestia Nuova, San Lorenzo, Florence
The statue of Madonna and Child are located in the Medici Chapel above the simple tomb of "Magnifici". In the figures of the Madonna and Child there is but little human contact, despite their physical closeness: the most glorious of women is moved by the Child in the same way as by the contemplation of the highest Platonic thought, and this seems to transpire from her face.
Flanked by St Cosimo and St Damian, the Virgin forms the spiritual centre of the Medici Chapel; the eyes of Lorenzo and Giuliano de' Medici are turned towards her. Like the first Madonna carved by Michelangelo (a relief in the Casa Buonarroti, Florence), she is suckling her child, who clings to her strongly. The dynamic interlocking spirals in space of the two figures suggest a different order of movement than that visible in the other figures, and it has been suggested that the group was originally intended for one of the earlier versions of the tomb of Julius II, and was later employed in the Medici Chapel.