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Statuette; known as the 'Vierge de Colleville' (Front)

Statuette; known as the 'Vierge de Colleville' (Front)
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Fécamp, Musée de Fécamp

Inv. D 16


Height: 380mm
Width: 136mm
Depth: 110mm

Standing Virgin and Child; Christ seated on left arm; naked Christ; Christ holding a rosary (now missing); Virgin holding a pomegranate; crown; chain; two figures holding a scroll.

Dufour-Voisard 1911: Spanish, end of the 15th century.
Daoust 1953: Flanders, Burgundy, late 15th century.
Museum's opinion 2013: Burgundy, 15th century.


Polychromy - Gilding
Traces of gilding and polychromy: blue (inside the Virgin's cloak). In 1911, one could still read the following inscription in Gothic script along the hem of the Virgin's cloak, on the left from bottom to top, '[...]bis Deum, Allelu[i]a, Amen' and on the front, 'Ave [Regi]na misericordiae' and on the scroll, an 'a' in Gothic script (see photographs in Dufourd-Voisard 1911).

Carved in the round, except along a vertical axis in the centre where the surface is left rough and uncarved. The bottom has crosshatching and the pulp cavity is large and visible.

Object Condition
The crown had been restored, using plaster on a metal structure, and this addition was removed in 1989. A twisting rosary had also been modeled and placed in Christ's hands (see photographs in 1911 publication), and was removed between 1911 and 1953. It is possible that Christ originally held such a rosary, as traces of a long object appear on the front of the Virgin's dress to which it was attached in two places.
The Virgin's right thumb and the pomegranate broke off, but have been glued back into place. Daoust, in 1953, notes: 'la statue avait été accidentellement mutilée au cours d'une procession du 15 août, vers 1925. Grâce à la pressante intervention du Curé actuel de Colleville, l'Abbé Robert Bourdon, les Beaux-Arts ont très intelligemment restauré la couronne.'(n. 11, p. 19).

Until the 1970s, the statuette was carried in procession on the Virgin's feast days.

Said to have come from the former Benedictine abbey of Valmont (Sainte-Marie de Valmont) and to have been rescued by Dom Cambier (b. 1751, d. 1838), monk at Valmont, together with other valuable objects at the Revolution when, in 1789, the abbey was dissolved and the monks forced to leave; Dom Cambier became priest of the church of Coleville (Seine-Inférieure) and the statuette was given by his heirs to his parish church after his death in 1838; on deposit from the commune of Colleville at the Musée de Fécamp since 1975.

A. Dufour-Voisard, 'La Vierge d'ivoire de Colleville', in Millénaire de la Normandie (Rouen, 1911), pp. 5-12.
M. Vloberg, La Vierge et l'Enfant dans l'art français (Grenoble, 1934), II, pp. 35-36.
La Vierge dans l'art français, exhibition catalogue, Paris, Petit-Palais, 1950, p. 95, no. 252.
J. Daoust, La Vierge d'ivoire de Colleville (Fécamp, 1953).


Vierge de Colleville. Inv. D 16 © Musée de Fécamp, cliché SER.

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