The Coronation of the Virgin
87 cm x 71.5 cm (34 1/4 in. x 28 1/8 in.)
Giovanni Battista della Cerva
(Novara (?), Italy, circa 1515 - 1580, Milan, Italy)
Medium and Support:
Oil on wood panel
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, The Suida-Manning Collection, 2017
Jesus crowns her mother Mary as God the Father gazes down from above and the Holy Spirit descends in the form of a dove. Playful cherubim in the wreath of cloud add to the jubilant mood. This theme represents the final episode in the life of Mary, when, according to the tradition of the Catholic Church, she was brought to heaven after death and crowned as Queen of Heaven. In order to set the scene for the celestial event, Giovanni Battista della Cerva creates an abstract space relying on colors associated with heaven (blue) and eternity (gold).