Sandro Botticelli, Coronation of the Virgin

Table of Contents:

Sandro Botticelli

Coronation of the Virgin (1490-93)

Botticelli received this commission from the Guild of Goldsmiths around 1490 for their chapel in the Church of San Marco, the Chapel of Saint Eligius. The predella of the altarpiece is still intact, and it reflects saints in the primary composition: John the Evangelist, Augustine, Jerome, and Eligius, who was the patron saint of goldsmiths. The piece contains distinct Heavenly and Earthly realms, divided by the dancing angels in semicircular form. 

After Mary’s Earthly death, she was believed to have ascended to Heaven to receive her coronation as Queen of Heaven. Surrounded by bursts of gold and angels, Mary bows as Christ adorns her with her crown. St. John and St. Jerome gaze up in awe, further connecting the two realms. The prominence of gold throughout the scene refers to the riches and splendor of the Guild of Goldsmiths.


Legouix, Susan. Botticelli. London: Chaucer Press, 2004. pg. 44-46.

Lightbown, Ronald. Sandro Botticelli: Life and Work (vol. 1). Berkeley: University of California Press, 1978. pg. 108-109.