Polyptych with Coronation of the Virgin and Saints

Object Details

Title:

Polyptych with Coronation of the Virgin and Saints

Artist/Maker(s):

Cenni di Francesco di Ser Cenni (Italian (Florentine), active 1369/1370 - 1415)

Culture:

Italian

Place(s):

Florence, Tuscany, Italy (Place created)

Date:

about 1390s

Medium:

Tempera and gold leaf on panel

Dimensions:

Framed [outer dim]: 355.6 x 239.1 cm (140 x 94 1/8 in.)

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In the central panel of this opulent polyptych, Christ crowns his mother, the Virgin Mary, as gathered angels and saints look on. The altarpiece decorated a chapel dedicated to Saint Benedict in the Church of Santa Trinità, Florence, which explains why Saint Benedict is portrayed twice, on the left panel and again in a scene below.

The altarpiece's various panels do not depict episodes in chronological order. In the pinnacles above the central scene, which were added at a later date, the Archangel Gabriel announces the conception of Christ to the Virgin. Below, in the predella, or lowest panel, the Virgin's death is represented at the center. To either side are scenes of saints triumphing over evil. On the far left, Saint Benedict exorcises a devil, and in the panel to the right Saint John baptizes Christ. To the right of the Virgin's death, devils torment Saint Anthony, while on the far right Saint Lawrence liberates a soul from purgatory.

Cenni di Francesco di Ser Cenni used lavish amounts of gold leaf and different types of punch marks and tooling to describe haloes and background decorations. He took great pains to include details such as attributes for saints on the side wings and landscapes in most of the predella panels. The opulence and sheer elaborateness of this altarpiece inspired awe in Christian viewers of the late 1300s and remain impressive today.

Provenance
probably by 1407 -

Probably Gianfigliazzi Family (Saint Benedict Chapel, Santa Trinità, Florence, Italy), possibly moved from the Saint Benedict chapel in the seventeenth century.

Probably Gianfigliazzi Family (Florence, Italy), probably by marriage to the Lotteringhi Della Stufa Family.

Probably Lotteringhi Della Stufa Family (Florence, Italy)

before about 1889 -

Marchese Ferdinando Lotteringhi della Stufa (Florence, Italy)

Lotteringhi Della Stufa Family (Lotteringhi Della Stufa Family Palace, Piazza San Lorenzo, Florence, Italy)

- after 1918

Marchese della Stufa (Florence, Italy), sold to Princess Eugenia Ruspoli, after 1918.

about 1918 - 1951

Princess Eugenia Ruspoli, died 1951 (Rome, Italy; New York, New York), by inheritance to her niece, Maria Theresa Droutzkoy, 1951.

1951 - 1971

Princess Maria Theresa Droutzkoy (New York, New York), sold through French and Company (New York, New York), to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1971.

Related Media
  • /
    Audio: The Coronation of the Virgin
  • /
    Audio: Polyptych with Coronation of the Virgin and Saints (Angels and Demons)