Coronation of the Virgin  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Coronation of the Virgin or Coronation of Mary is a subject in Christian art, especially popular in Italy in the 13th to 15th centuries, but continuing in popularity until the 18th century and beyond. Christ, sometimes accompanied by God the Father and the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove, places a crown on the head of Mary as Queen of Heaven. In early versions the setting is a Heaven imagined as an earthly court, staffed by saints and angels; in later versions Heaven is more often seen as in the sky, with the figures seated on clouds. The subject is also notable as one where the whole Christian Trinity are often shown together, sometimes in unusual ways. Although crowned Virgins may be seen in Eastern Orthodox icons, the coronation by the deity is not. Mary is sometimes shown, in both Eastern and Western Christian art, being crowned by one or two angels, but this is considered a different subject.

The subject became common as part of a general increase in devotion to Mary in the Early Gothic period, and is one of the commonest subjects in surviving 14th century Italian panel paintings, mostly made to go on a side-altar in a church. The great majority of Catholic churches had (and have) a side-altar or "Lady chapel" dedicated to Mary. The subject is still often enacted in rituals or popular pageants called May crownings, although the crowning is performed by human figures.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Coronation of the Virgin" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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