Description On this altarpiece, Christ places a crown upon the head of his kneeling mother, the Virgin Mary, an act symbolic of their status as King and Queen of Heaven. The golden circle surrounding the couple has been engraved with different tools. This ornament suggests the music of the heavenly spheres (the movement of the planets believed to produce harmonies, which could not be heard by humans). Around the circle is a host of worshiping angels; below are Sts. John the Baptist, perhaps Augustine and his mother Monica, and Nicholas of Bari. At the bottom of the panel, in the center, angels kneel on either side of a painted tabernacle depicting the Crucifixion. This section was cut and hinged to provide a recess in the altarpiece that may have housed the consecrated Host for use in the Mass. For more information on this altarpiece, please see Zeri catalogue number 54, pp. 87-89.
Provenance Don Marcello Massarenti Collection, Rome, prior to 1897 [mode of acquisition unknown] [1897 catalogue: no. 92, as Neri di Bicci]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1902, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Transcription] In scroll held by John the Baptist: ECCE. AGNIVS.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters with the Massarenti Collection, 1902
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