Sedes Sapientiae, known as the Virgin of Évegnée

This sculpture comes from Évegnée, at the entrance to the Pays de Herve, a few kilometres north of Liège. 

The group of the Virgin and Child adheres to a symmetrical composition, governed by the law of frontality, while the reliefs are reduced to their simplest expression. It could be likened to a kind of idol...
The Virgin seems to be at one with the seat on which she rests and she herself appears as the seat for the Child. Her right hand holds an apple; the left grips one of the seat posts. The Blessed Child holds the right tightly against his chest; his left hand holds a book.

The piece may be considered as one of the oldest Mosan “Sedes sapientiae”. Its iconography depicts the Virgin as the "Seat of Wisdom" (Christ is wisdom incarnate), a reference to the Old Testament’s Throne of Solomon: Solomon is known to have issued a judgement, the wisdom of which has remained legendary. But, at the same time, the apple that the Mother of the Saviour holds in her hand also makes her a "New Eve", through whom redemption for the original sin can take place. 

About 1/5 of the sculpture’s original height was removed from its base. 
At first sight, its archaic style may appear a little rustic. It can, however, be likened to the faces of the characters on the doors of the Sainte-Marie-au-Capitole church in Cologne, which date to around 1050. 
Albert Lemeunier

Numéro d'inventaire FLORA
Année d'exécution
Vers 1060
Région mosane, Évegnée