There she stood, wrapped in a silk cloth, right at the back of the shelves of our historic archive of samples: a tall slender Madonna in red robes. Serene and elegant, gazing lovingly at the Christ Child in her arms. This encounter captivated us. But it took several years before this exceptional masterpiece could be brought back into the collection in 2020 as a very special “Curiosity”.
The form of the Madonnas that are now returning to the collection is based on an original historic design. When it came to the color scheme, rather than stick to the simple original design, we set ourselves the challenge of devising some new artistic variations. The result: two Madonnas, each very different in appearance. While the Madonna in the dark-blue dress exudes elegance, the one with the pale-blue robe touches us with her gentle demeanor. Regardless of which version you choose, the skill and artistry that has gone into their painting means these impressive large figurines represent the master craftsmanship of our workshops like no others.
Despite carrying out extensive research, the question of how and when the large Madonna was designed has never been fully answered. It is also not known whether Grete Wendt’s interest in the Virgin Mary was religious, or if it was a more humanistic view of the Madonna as a depiction of a mother and child. What we do know is that she particularly admired a specific painting of the Madonna, the “The Virgin and Child with a Pear” by Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528). A reproduction of this work hung on the wall of her living room.