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Panel - The Coronation of the Virgin

The Coronation of the Virgin

  • Object:

    Panel

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    late 14th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Carved, painted and gilt alabaster

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Dr W. L. Hildburgh FSA

  • Museum number:

    A.192-1946

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The crowned figure of the Virgin mary, wearing a gown and a cloak over her shoulders, kneels on the left of the panel, facing right. The crowned and bearded figure of Christ, wearing a gown and a cloak draped over his left shoulder, is seated on the right of a throne which fills the width of the panel.

The top of the panel has a embattled canopy, a feature popular in the early 15th century.

Alabaster, a fine grained form of gypsum, is a smooth marble-like stone that became popular during the late Middle Ages for the carving of religious sculpture. Softer than marble, it was much easier to carve and also considerably cheaper. England was an important European centre of alabaster production, with quarries outside Nottingham, York, Burton-on-Trent and London. From about 1380s, alabasters - both single devotional images and reliefs for altarpieces - were exported in considerable numbers to the continent where they were to survive, whereas in England such images were destroyed during the Reformation.

Physical description

The panel has an embattled top and chamfered edges. The crowned figure of the Virgin, wearing a gown, a cloak over her shoulders and shoes, kneels on the left of the panel, facing right. The crowned and bearded figure of Christ, wearing a gown and a cloak draped over his left shoulder, is seated on the right of the throne which fills the width of the panel, his bare feet resting on a ledge. He holds the Virgin's right wrist with his left hand; his right arm is raised in blessing.

There is some green paint on the ground at the bottom of the panel. Traces of red survive in the folds of Christ's robes and on the shoe of the Virgin. There is gilt on the battlementing, on the two crowns and on the hair of Christ and his Mother. In the back of the panel are eight holes all of which appear to be filled with lead.

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

late 14th century (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Carved, painted and gilt alabaster

Dimensions

Height: 43.3 cm, Width: 30.5 cm

Object history note

On loan to the Museum from Dr W.L. Hildburgh since 1938. Given by Dr Hildburgh in 1946.

Descriptive line

Panel, alabaster, The Coronation of the Virgin, England, late 14th century.

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

Cheetham, Francis. English Medieval Alabasters. Oxford: Phaidon-Christie's Limited, 1984. p. 209 (cat. 136), ill. ISBN 0-7148-8014-0

Materials

Alabaster; Paint; Gilt

Techniques

Carving; Painting; Gilding

Subjects depicted

Gown; Cloak; Throne; Shoes; Crown

Categories

Christianity; Religion; Sculpture

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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