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Key facts
Full title The Coronation of the Virgin
Artist Lorenzo Monaco
Artist dates active 1399; died 1423 or 1424
Date made 1388-1390
Medium and support Tempera on wood
Dimensions 195 × 154.7 × 12 cm
Acquisition credit On loan from The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London
Inventory number L1259
Location Room 60
Art route(s) A
Image copyright On loan from The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London
Collection Main Collection
The Coronation of the Virgin
Lorenzo Monaco

The Coronation of the Virgin – the moment of the Virgin’s reception into heaven by Christ – was a popular subject in Florentine painting. Seated within an architectural throne, the Virgin bows her head and crosses her hands in a gesture of humility as she receives the pointed crown of the queen of heaven.

Lorenzo Monaco painted several versions of this subject, including his large altarpiece for the monastery of San Benedetto fuori della Porta Pinti. Lorenzo approached these paintings of the same subject rather differently. This panel, dating from 20 years earlier in his career, is more intimate but no less legible. It was once the crowning panel to an altarpiece he painted for the church of San Gaggio, Florence. Lorenzo uses intricate punchwork and mordant gilding to mimic lampas silks, imported from the near east and imitated by Italian craftsmen.

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