Crowning of the Virgin
Collections OnlinePinacotecaRoom X

Crowning of the Virgin

Giulio Romano
Giulio Pippi called
(Rome, circa1499- Mantua 1546)
Giovan Francesco Penni, called "il Fattore"
(Florence, circa 1488 - Naples 1528)
Crowning of the Virgin
(called "Madonna of Monteluce"), 1505-1525
oil on wood
cm. 354 x 232
cat. 40359

The Poor Clares of the convent of Monteluce near Perugia (hence the painting is usually called "Madonna of Monteluce") commissioned the young Raphael an altarpiece with the Assumption of the Virgin in 1503. Subsequently two other contracts were signed (1505, 1516) for a painting that would illustrate the Crowning of the Virgin. On the death of Raphael (1520) the work was not yet completed and in fact only some drawings were ready. A new contract (1523) was therefore drawn up with his assistants Giulio Romano and Giovan Francesco Penni, who finally delivered the altarpiece in 1525. The work is made up of two parts, painted on different occasions and then joined together. The most likely hypothesis is that the upper panel with the Crowning of the Virgin (probably begun as a sketch by Raphael) is the work of Giulio Romano, while for the lower part with the Apostles gathered around a tomb covered in flowers an altarpiece by Giovan Francesco Penni was used. This had been commissioned by Agostino Chigi for the family chapel in S. Maria del Popolo, but then refused.