Coronation of the Virgin (1641 – 1644) by Diego Velazquez

Coronation of the Virgin - Diego Velazquez - 1641 - 1644

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Artwork Information

TitleCoronation of the Virgin
ArtistDiego Velazquez
Date1641 - 1644
Dimensions124 x 176 cm
Art MovementBaroque
Current LocationMuseo del Prado, Madrid, Spain

About Coronation of the Virgin

The artwork “Coronation of the Virgin” by Diego Velazquez, created during the period 1641 to 1644, is a splendid example of the Baroque art movement. Executed in oil on canvas, it measures approximately 124 by 176 centimeters and resides within the prestigious collection of the Museo del Prado in Madrid, Spain. This religious painting captures a significant moment in Christian iconography, presenting a divine scene rich in both symbolism and emotional depth.

In the artwork, the central figure of the Virgin Mary is depicted seated on clouds, her demeanor is one of humble acceptance as she is being crowned by the figures of God the Father to the right, and Jesus Christ to the left. The composition is anchored by a strong triangular structure formed through the positioning of the Holy Trinity, demonstrating a classic Baroque concern for dynamic movement and complexity. Each figure is robed in rich, flowing garments that exemplify the sumptuous textures and deep, vibrant colors characteristic of Velazquez’s palette.

Above the trio, a radiant Holy Spirit, in the form of a dove, emanates a celestial light, completing the sacred representation of the Trinity. The dove is encircled by a burst of divine light, suggesting an ethereal presence and heavenly authority. Below Mary, two cherubs rest upon the clouds, their faces expressing adoration and innocence, further emphasizing the sanctity of the Virgin’s ascension and coronation.

Velazquez’s mastery of light and shadow is evident in the way the ethereal glow from above illuminates the figures, casting a divine sheen and adding a three-dimensional quality to the forms. The soft modeling of the faces and drapery illustrates the artist’s skillful handling of oil paint, bringing a sense of realism to this heavenly tableau. Overall, the artwork conveys a sense of grandeur and reverence appropriate to its religious subject matter, making it a notable piece within the Baroque canon and Velazquez’s oeuvre.

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