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Fragments from The Coronation of the Virgin

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These are fresco fragments from Correggio’s Coronation of the Virgin, which once decorated the apse of the church of S. Giovanni Evangelista in Parma. The fresco depicted Christ crowning the Virgin Mary in paradise surrounded by the evangelists and doctors of the church, and baby angels known in Italian as putti.

The Virgin was the principal patron saint of Parma and the coronation of the Virgin was depicted on the city’s seal as well as its coinage. A coin of 1526 shows a design particularly close to Correggio’s Coronation of the Virgin, suggesting that his fresco had an immediate impact on the city.

The apse was destroyed when the choir was enlarged, but the heads of angels were saved and are now in the National Gallery. The central figures showing Christ and the Virgin are now in the Galleria Nazionale, Parma. In 1587 a replica of Correggio’s fresco was painted in the new apse of S. Giovanni Evangelista.

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