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Conservation treatment of a statuette from 15th-century Northern Europe A plump and smiling Infant Jesus restored through the generosity of the general public

Restoration - Archives - October 7, 2009

Acquired in September 2009 the statuette was subjected to several layers of paint and some damage over the centuries. Its conservation treatment was made possible through the generosity of numerous donors.

L'Enfant Jésus, détail du buste, face, vers 1500

L'Enfant Jésus, détail du buste, face, vers 1500

© 2011 Musée du Louvre / Thierry Ollivier

Acquired in September 2009 as an addition to the Louvre collections in the Department of Sculptures, this statuette of fine quality exemplifies the devotional practices of the Middle Ages. It is the only one of its kind in a French museum. Only a dozen Infant Jesus statuettes sculpted around the year 1500 remain today.

This plump and smiling nude Christ Child was sculpted in the former Southern Netherlands, with Mechlin, Brussels, and Antwerp as the major centers of art.

Through the generosity of donors, the 10,000 euros necessary for its restoration were raised in late 2009. In April 2010, the exquisitely restored statuette joined the Department of Sculptures (Pavillon Denon, “Late Gothic” Northern Europe room). It is on display in room C, in a showcase next to other statuettes from Mechlin.
The Musée du Louvre would like to thank all the donors who helped restore the Infant Jesus of Mechlin to its former glory!

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