This work by Francois Baillairge is called 'The Virgin.' This was part of a crucifixion scene originally in a parish church in the village of St-Jean-Port-Joli, 100 kilometres east of Quebec City, on the south shore of the St. Lawrence. The church council commissioned the sculptor to produce the group in 1797.
The power of this work is in his interpretation of Mary's torment. Baillairge takes his carving to a deeply personal level, such as might be done by a medieval painter. Her hands are tense and prayerfully positioned. Her face is distraught and her eyes look away as if seeking the comfort of a distant power
Port Joli, is noted for its reputation for producing excellent wood carvers.
Extract from the National Gallery Collection. Please click here.