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The Virgin Mary Reading
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The Virgin Mary Reading

Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description In this devotional panel, the Virgin Mary is depicted reading. Her status as the Queen of Heaven is emphasized by the golden crown-studded with jewels and pearls and adorned with red and white roses-held by the angels. Attached to the Virgin's mantle is a small pendant cross from which pearls are suspended. Antonello's preference for geometric shapes is characteristic of the early Italian Renaissance. From his study of contemporary Flemish painting, the artist had learned about the use of oil glazes. The technique permitted him to create unprecedentedly rich details with textures that reflected light in different ways, particularly visible here in the crown.
Date Description Narrative
Examinationexamined for condition
11/02/1939Treatmentcleaned; coated; examined for exhibition; filled; inpainted; lined; reconstructed; stabilized
11/28/1989Treatmentcoated; examined for condition; filled; inpainted; surface cleaned; varnish removed or reduced
1/10/1990Examinationchemical analysis; examined for technical study
3/02/2006Examinationexamined for exhibition
  • Illuminated Manuscripts: Masterpieces in Miniature. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1984-1985.
  • Antonella da Messina: l'opera completa. Scuderie del Quirinale, Roma. 2006.
Provenance Augusto Mazzetti [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1911, by purchase [Bernard Berenson as agent]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1911

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ca. 1460-1462 (Renaissance)
tempera and oil on wood panel
(Painting & Drawing)
Accession Number
Painted surface H: 17 3/8 x W: 12 5/8 x D: 5/16 in. (44.1 x 32 x 0.8 cm); Framed H: 25 1/2 x W: 20 1/2 x D: 2 1/4 in. (64.8 x 52.1 x 5.7 cm)

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