Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Pax - The Virgin and Child with St John the Baptist

The Virgin and Child with St John the Baptist

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Italy (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1500 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Sculpture, Room 111, The Gilbert Bayes Gallery, case DR17

Plaquettes are small plaques made of bronze, brass, lead or precious metals. They originated in the 1440s with the desire to reproduce coins and hardstone engravings from ancient Greece and Rome. Some were made as collector’s pieces, to be viewed and displayed in private, and others for practical purposes. They also inspired designs in other media, from architecture to bookbindings.

The pax, introduced in the Middle Ages, was kissed by the priest and congregation before taking communion. This relief is a rare example of a pax with its handle still attached. It would have been held up during the Mass as a devotional image for worship.

Physical description

Pax, showing the holy family, within a frontispiece or tabernacle.

Place of Origin

Italy (made)


ca. 1500 (made)



Descriptive line

Pax, the Virgin and Child, bronze, by an unknown artist, Italy, ca. 1500

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Inventory of Art Objects Acquired in the Year 1860. In: Inventory of the Objects in the Art Division of the Museum at South Kensington, Arranged According to the Dates of their Acquisition. Vol I. London: Printed by George E. Eyre and William Spottiswoode for H.M.S.O., 1868, p. 31






Sculpture Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.