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Agnolo Gaddi, The Coronation of the Virgin

Key facts
Full title The Coronation of the Virgin
Artist Agnolo Gaddi
Artist dates documented 1369; died 1396
Date made about 1380-85
Medium and support Egg tempera on wood
Dimensions 183.6 × 94.3 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1857
Inventory number NG568
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
The Coronation of the Virgin
Agnolo Gaddi

The Virgin Mary 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.

Close examination of the angels' wings reveals that individual feathers have been drawn by scratching through the pastel paint shades with a very fine sharp tool, revealing the gold leaf beneath.

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