Our Lady with the Child

INV AO.215
Nossa Senhora com o Menino

Mughal India, final 16th century/ early 17th century

Ivory, gilt and painted wood

Sculpture: 27,5 x 8,2 x 5,2 cm / Base: 4,5 x 9,4 x 11,4 cm / Total: 32 x 9,4 x 11,4 cm


This image represents the Virgin, in her full body, looking straight ahead, with a mantle protecting her head and shoulders and holding the Child with her left arm and supporting Him with her right hand.

The Child holds a globe in his right hand, associating the group with the iconography of Salvator Mundi. The sculpture rests on an octagonal wooden plinth with the representation of angels' heads, on its face, carved in the Goan style of a later period.

Although Mughal works in ivory with this type of subject are extremely scarce, it is known from the detailed letters sent by the Jesuit missions to the Mughal Empire that the emperor Akbar (1542-1605), as well as his son, prince Salim (1569-1627), owned and had ivory images representing Our Lady and Jesus Christ made in the imperial workshops. This work is therefore a remarkable testimony to Mughal sculpture with a Christian theme and to the artistic influence of the Jesuits through their missions to the Grand Mughal.