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Relief - The Virgin and Child
  • The Virgin and Child
    Dossena, Alceo, born 1878 - died 1937
  • Enlarge image

The Virgin and Child

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Italy (made)

  • Date:

    1929 (dated)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Dossena, Alceo, born 1878 - died 1937 (sculptor)

  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This terracotta relief representing the Virgin and Child was made by Alceo Dossena in Rome, 1929.

Alceo Dossena, a sculptor from Cremona, settled in Rome in 1918. For ten years, until his exposure in 1928, he was perhaps the most successful forger of sculpture, both classical and Renaissance. This relief, together with two others (A. 92-1930, A. 94-1930) exceptionally for Dossena, in terracotta rather than marble, date from 1929, the year after he was exposed. All three are signed, and two are dated with the Fascist year VII (1929). Since they are not intended to deceive, they do not imitate the style of any particular Renaissance sculptor.

Physical description

Virgin and Child, relief in terracotta. The Virgin is shown in half-length behind a parapet looking downwards to the left with her right arm round the Child, who is seated on the left on a cushion with His right hand raised in benediction and a pomegranate in his left. On the front of the parapet are the words, 'AVE.MARIAE.MATER.DEI', and in the upper right corner is the cursive inscription, 'Aleceo Dossena anno VII'.

Place of Origin

Italy (made)


1929 (dated)


Dossena, Alceo, born 1878 - died 1937 (sculptor)

Materials and Techniques


Marks and inscriptions

on the front of the parapet

'Aleceo Dossena anno VII'
cursive inscription in the upper right corner, maker's identification


Height: 62.9 cm, Width: 43.2 cm

Descriptive line

Virgin and Child, relief in terracotta, by Alceo Dossena, Italy, 1929

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

Pope-Hennessy, John. Catalogue of Italian Sculpture in the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: HMSO, 1964. cat. no. 745. fig. no. 736.
Maclagan, Eric and Longhurst, Margaret H. Catalogue of Italian Sculpture. London, 1932. p. 171.
Victoria and Albert Museum, Review of the Principal Acquisitions During the Year 1930. London. p. 87.
Schüller, S. Forgers, dealers, experts; adventures in the twilight of art forgery. London, 1960. p. 68.

Subjects depicted

Pomegranate; Infants; Mothers; Halo


Sculpture; Religion; Christianity


Sculpture Collection

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