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Virgin and Child in Majesty, 1150–1200 French; Made in Auvergne Walnut with paint, gesso, and linen This type of sculpture, with the Christ Child seated in the Virgin's lap in a frontal pose, is known as a Sedes Sapientiae (Throne of Wisdom). These seemingly straightforward images convey complex theological ideas. Mary serves as Christ's throne.
Palmesel, 15th century, Franconia, Germany. The German word Palmesel (palm donkey) refers to the statue of Christ on a donkey, mounted on a wheeled platform, which was part of Palm Sunday processions in many German-speaking regions until the Reformation. In the Middle Ages these processions, which reenacted Christ's entry into Jersualem mounted on an ass, were lively pageants in which hymns were sung, palms strewn, and clothes spread on the ground before the Palmesel.