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Madonna and Child

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Polychrome wooden statue of seated Madonna holding Child on right arm. Child holds scroll in hands. Gilded robes. On molded base in gilt.


20th century, created by Alceo Dossena (b. 1878 - d. 1937) [see note 1]; sold as a sculpture by Simone Martini (Italian, b. about 1284 - d. 1344), probably by Dossena's dealers, Alfredo Fasoli and Alfredo Pallesi, Rome, to Elia Volpi (b. 1858 - d. 1938), Florence; 1927, sold by Volpi to the MFA for $30,750. (Accession Date: April 7, 1927) NOTES: [1] Alceo Dossena produced imitations of Renaissance and antique sculpture, which were sold by the Roman dealers Alfredo Fasoli and Alfredo Pallesi as authentic (also see MFA accession no. 24. 150). The sculpture was accessioned as a work by the Sienese sculptor Vecchietta (b. 1410 - d. 1480). In 1928 the press exposed the fraudulent practices of Fasoli and Pallesi. For more information, see Roberta Ferrazza, "Alceo Dossena e i falsi d'autore," in Palazzo Davanzati e le collezioni di Elia Volpi (Florence, 1994), pp. 223-254.

Credit Line

Francis Bartlett Donation of 1912

Italian, early 20th century

Object Place



134 cm (52 3/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Wood; polychrome wood