The Coronation of the Virgin - Velázquez's Masterful Altarpiece

by Christine Anne Ronquillo March 01, 2024

The Coronation of the Virgin - Velázquez's Masterful Altarpiece

An Intricate depiction of Mary's Divine Assumption

Diego Velázquez was one of the most influential Spanish painters of the 17th century, known for his realistic and emotive portrayals of historical and religious scenes. One of his masterpieces is The Coronation of the Virgin, completed in 1641-1644.

This magnificent altarpiece was commissioned for the high altar of the Queen's chapel in El Pardo palace. It depicts the Catholic belief of Mary's Assumption - where her soul and body are taken up to Heaven at the end of her earthly life.

In the upper portion, the Virgin Mary kneels in humble reverence as she is crowned Queen of Heaven by the Trinity. Her eyes gaze upwards in an expression of deep spirituality. Surrounding them are a semicircle of winged cherubs and golden clouds.

Velázquez utilizes his mastery of naturalism and chiaroscuro to create a transcendent scene that powerfully captures this pivotal moment for the Virgin Mary. The divine light radiating from above provides stark illumination, heightening the emotional and spiritual impact.

This monumental altarpiece is considered one of Velázquez's most moving tributes to a sacred subject. The Coronation of the Virgin is a crowning example of the artistic genius and intensely religious baroque style of 17th century Spain.

Download the image here.




Christine Anne Ronquillo
Christine Anne Ronquillo

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