Veneto : Coronation of the Virgin

The Coronation of the Virgin
The Coronation of the Virgin, 1324, tempera on panel, painted surface: 99 x 77.3 cm (39 x 30 7/16 in.) overall: 108.2 x 79 cm (42 5/8 x 31 1/8 in., Framed: 115.3 x 86 x 8.9 cm (45 3/8 x 33 7/8 x 3 1/2 in.)

“Coronation of the Virgin” is a tempera painting on panel done by Venetian painter Paolo Veneziano in 1324. It is compositionally organized in waves of color and pattern. It depicts a scene of the apocryphal story of the Virgin Mary’s coronation following her death. The painting was done at a time when Venice was actively integrating Byzantine culture and style into its own. The city has long ties with the Byzantium, starting in the 6th century as a Byzantine province to the 1204 sacking of Constantinople in the Fourth Crusade when Venice staked claim to hegemonic rights over the Byzantium, “Coronation of the Virgin” is an excellent example of Venetian Trecento paintings’ Byzantine stylistic heritage. We see this in its hieratical composition, heavy use of gold, two-dimensional halo-discs and green skin tone. Additionally, “Coronation” echoes the otherworldly ornate aesthetic of Venice’s shores as a uniquely isolated prosperous city.