Cistercians were not permitted any images besides representations of Christ or of the Mother of God.
The High Gothic Madonna of Maulbronn (dated about 1300) is considered a superior work of German high medieval wood sculpture. The Virgin Mary is seated on a small bench with reliefs on both sides. The traces of a crown on her head indicate that she was depicted as Queen of Heaven. The hand holding the Holy Child is original. The Mother of God may have held an apple in the other hand, Jesus probably had a bird. Her gown flows in fine folds over her body. A few traces of the original coloring are still visible. The dove and the baldachin are modern additions.
Once it was thought that the features of the face and the eyes indicated French origin. Today it appears, however, to be a work of Lower Rhenish or Cologne origin. How and when the Madonna came to Maulbronn is unknown.
31 May 1996