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Panel - The Coronation of the Virgin

The Coronation of the Virgin

  • Object:

    Panel

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    15th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Carved and painted alabaster

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Dr W. L. Hildburgh FSA

  • Museum number:

    A.56-1946

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The Virgin Mary, wearing a close-fitting gown and a cloak is shown enthroned in the centre of the panel, crowned by a triple tiara surmounted with a cross and with her hands raised apart in prayer. Above her to the left, enthroned on a chamfered ledge is God the Son, turned towards her and wearing a cloak draped from the left, leaving his torso bare. God the Father, crowned, haloed and bearded and wearing a gown and a cloak is seated in a similar position on the right of the panel, touching the Virgin's crown with his right hand. Unusually there is battlementing carved across the panel behind the figures of God the Father and God the Son, which possibly represents Heaven. Below the ledges supporting the thrones there are two winged angels playing small harps.

Physical description

The Virgin, wearing a close-fitting gown and a cloak over her shoulders, is enthroned in the centre of the panel, crowned with a triple tiara surmounted with a cross, her hands raised apart in prayer. She wears shoes which show through the lower edge of her cloak. Above her to the left, enthroned on a chamfered ledge, is God the Son, turned towards her and wearing a cloak draped from his left, leaving his torso bare. He touches the Virgin's crown with his left hand. God the Father, crowned, haloed and bearded and wearing a gown and a cloak, is seated in a similar position on the right of the panel, touching the Virgin's crown with his right hand. An orb surmounted by a cross is in his left hand. Both figures of the Trinity have bare feet. An unusual feature is battlementing carved across the panel at the shoulder level of God the Father, possibly representing heaven. Below the ledges supporting the thrones are two winged angels playing small harps. The lower parts of the two harps are still in their protective covers.

The Son's head, his right hand and the head of the angel below him are missing. There was doubtless a representation of God the Holy Spirit either in the form of a third individual or as a Dove in the missing part of the centre of the top of the panel. The Virgin's left hand is missing.

Slight traces of paint remain on the panel, green on the ground and red on the angels' wings. The back of the panel is marked with an inverted 'V.' There are three holes plugged with lead. The bottom has been cut away.

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

15th century (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Carved and painted alabaster

Marks and inscriptions

Inverted 'V'
On the back of the panel.

Dimensions

Height: 41 cm, Width: 27.2 cm

Object history note

Acquired by Dr W. L. Hildburgh in Paris. On loan from him since 1924. Given by Dr Hildburgh in 1946.

Descriptive line

Alabaster panel depicting the Coronation of the Virgin. English, 15th century.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Cheetham, Francis. English Medieval Alabasters. Oxford: Phaidon-Christie's Limited, 1984. p. 217 (cat. 144), ill. ISBN 0-7148-8014-0

Materials

Alabaster; Paint

Techniques

Carving; Painting

Subjects depicted

Throne; Cloak; Tiara; Orb; Angel; Gown; Halo; Shoes; Cross; Crown; Harp

Categories

Christianity; Religion; Sculpture

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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