Crowning of the Virgin
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Crowning of the Virgin

Raffaello Sanzio
(Urbino 1483 - Rome 1520)
Crowning of the Virgin (called the Oddi Altar-piece),1502-1504
"Tempera grassa" on wood transferred to canvas
cm. 272 x 165
cat. 40334

The Crowning of the Virgin was painted for the altar of the Oddi Chapel in the church of S. Francesco al Prato in Perugia. In 1797 it was confiscated by the French and transferred to Paris. When it was returned after 1815, Pius VII (pontiff from 1800 to 1823) had it placed, instead of in its original setting, in the new Vatican Art Gallery.
In the upper part of the composition, among angel musicians, Christ crowns the Virgin, while in the lower part the Apostles, among whom St Thomas with the girdle which he had received as a gift from the Virgin, are arranged around the tomb, in which there are flowers in place of the Virgin who has ascended to heaven.
The painting, which is an early work and usually dated between 1502 and 1504, has always been indicated as the work of Raphael that is closest to the style of his maestro Perugino.
The predella illustrates three episodes from Christ's infancy: the Annunciation, the Adoration of the Magi and the Presentation in the Temple.