Embroidered Tondo from an Altar Frontal: The Coronation of the Virgin

Embroidered Tondo from an Altar Frontal: The Coronation of the Virgin

1459

Embroidery with gold, silver, and silk thread; split, satin, and couching stitches, or nué (shaded gold)

Overall: 57.8 x 57.8 cm (22 3/4 x 22 3/4 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1953.129

Location

Description

This masterpiece of Florentine embroidery takes the circular form called a tondo and was likely once attached to an altar frontal. The scene depicts the coronation of the Virgin, the final and culminating event in the narrative cycle of her life. Honoring her as queen of heaven, Christ places the crown on his mother’s head. They are surrounded by eight angels as well as Saints Verdiana and John Gualberto, both much esteemed in Florence, creating a joyous scene. During the Renaissance, Florence emerged as an important center for a specific type of embroidery known as or nué, or shaded gold. This stunning technique used metal and silk threads, as seen here, to create pictures that rivaled paintings. It was frequently used for vestments and altar frontals.

See also

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Is something not working on this page? Please email help.website@clevelandart.org.

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email imageservices@clevelandart.org.