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The Coronation of the Virgin
Agnolo Gaddi
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The Virgin is crowned by Christ, her son, after her ascension to heaven. The episode was very popular in Florentine painting, where it formed the central panel of polyptychs (multi-panelled altarpieces), usually flanked by images of saints. It has been suggested that two panels showing two standing saints – Peter and James on one, and Bartholomew and Anthony Abbot on the other (now in the Pinacoteca Nazionale di San Matteo, Pisa) – were the original right-hand panels in this altarpiece. They may have been painted by a member of Gaddi’s workshop.

If you look closely at the angels‘ wings you’ll see that individual feathers have been drawn by scratching through the pastel paint shades with a very fine sharp tool, revealing the gold leaf beneath.

Key facts
Artist Agnolo Gaddi
Artist dates documented 1369; died 1396
Full title The Coronation of the Virgin
Date made about 1380-85
Medium and support Egg tempera on wood
Dimensions 183.6 x 94.3 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1857
Inventory number NG568
Location in Gallery Gallery A: Paintings 1250-1600
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