AN INDIAN-PORTUGUESE SCULPTURE OF THE HOLY VIRGIN HOLDING THE CHILD JESUS ON HER ARM, GIVING HIM READING LESSONS
Goa, last quarter 18th century
The richly dressed polychromed and gilt wood Holy Virgin and Jesus with ivory head and hands, on an octagonal wood base.
H. 25.7 cm
The 18th century corresponds to the establishment by the Jesuits of a real industry of religious imagery, not only in Goa but also in Macao, the Philippines and South America. Carvings are usually in ivory. If in wood, then at least faces and hands are often in ivory. Images of the Virgin are by far the most produced, even more than Jesus, reflecting the Marian worship so well developed in the Iberian peninsula. “Reading Lessons” is a popular subject in Goan imagery ( see also Uit Verre Streken, March 2018, item 22). Jesus child in these images looks more like a girl than a boy suggesting that it might be Anna giving reading lessons to Mary, instead of Mary giving reading lessons to Jesus