National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of The Coronation of the Virgin Agnolo Gaddi (artist)
Florentine, active 1369 - 1396
The Coronation of the Virgin, probably c. 1370
tempera on panel
painted surface: 161 × 79 cm (63 3/8 × 31 1/8 in.) overall: 163.2 × 79.2 × 0.7 cm (64 1/4 × 31 3/16 × 1/4 in.) framed: 172.1 x 87.3 x 7.9 cm (67 3/4 x 34 3/8 x 3 1/8 in.)
Samuel H. Kress Collection
1939.1.203
On View
From the Tour: Italian Altarpieces and Religious Sculpture of the 1300s
Object 2 of 8

According to Mary’s legend, after her death she was crowned the Queen of Heaven by her son Jesus. Here, musical angels serenade her coronation. Dressed in pale olive green, one angel plays a lute while another, garbed in iridescent robes, strums a mandore. Such pastel colors infuse the poetic paintings of Agnolo Gaddi, who also preferred intricate, delicate patterns. The surface of the painted gesso plaster was textured by designs impressed with punching tools. The crowns of the Madonna and Christ are so deeply indented as to appear three-dimensional.

In a large altarpiece by Gaddi, Madonna Enthroned with Saints and Angels, also in the Gallery’s collection, several of the angels have faces that nearly duplicate the angels here. Gaddi’s Coronation probably formed the central section of a similarly complex altarpiece, the side panels of which are now missing.

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