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Bernardo Daddi, 'The Coronation of the Virgin', about 1340-5

Key facts
Full title The Coronation of the Virgin
Artist Bernardo Daddi
Artist dates active 1312/20; died 1348
Date made about 1340-5
Medium and support Egg tempera on wood
Dimensions 111.7 × 75.5 cm
Acquisition credit Bought with a grant from the American Friends of the National Gallery, London, made possible by Sir Paul Getty's endowment, 2004
Inventory number NG6599
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
The Coronation of the Virgin
Bernardo Daddi

The coronation of the Virgin was a very popular subject in Florentine painting. Inspiration for the images came not from the Bible but from legends recounting the Virgin’s glorious reception into heaven by Christ, where she took her place by his side.

Daddi and his large workshop of assistants painted several versions of the coronation. This one reflects a work by Giotto, both in the bulkiness of the figures and the Virgin’s crossed arms. This gesture of humility was more often found in images of the Annunciation.

It remains unclear whether this panel formed the centre of a large altarpiece but we do know that it was cut down and altered. A painting now in Christ Church Picture Gallery, Oxford, showing four angels playing musical instruments with saints, formed the lowest part of the picture. The remnants of the saints’ haloes were once visible here, but they were painted over some time before it entered the National Gallery’s collection.

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