Virgin of the Immaculate Conception, circa 1690–1710, Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Carved ivory, Walters Art Museum, Baltimore.
The delicately carved ivory statuette of the virgin Mary is from the island of Ceylon (now known as Sri Lanka), off the southern coast of India. Christianity arrived in Ceylon with the Portuguese in 1505. European and Ceylonese influences are combined throughout the work to create a rare and special image of Mary. The Virgin stands serenely atop a crescent moon, her elegant robes draped beautifully across her shoulders. Her tranquil gaze and delicate hands clasped in prayer create a peaceful image.