Art/ Collection/ Art Object

The Coronation of the Virgin

Niccolò di Buonaccorso (Italian, active Siena by 1372–died 1388 Siena)
ca. 1380
Tempera on wood, gold ground
Overall, with engaged frame, 20 x 12 7/8 in. (50.8 x 32.7 cm); painted surface 17 5/8 x 10 1/2 in. (44.8 x 26.7 cm)
Credit Line:
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 952
Niccolò di Buonaccorso was one of the most accomplished Sienese painters of the second half of the fourteenth century, though he is little known today. His surviving works are small in scale and rendered in a highly refined miniaturist technique. This richly decorated "Coronation of the Virgin" corresponds in style, size, and framing to two other panels also depicting scenes from the Life of the Virgin: The Presentation of the Virgin (Uffizi, Florence), the Marriage of the Virgin (National Gallery, London). The backs of all three panels are decorated with the same ornamental pattern, suggesting that the structure originally folded in a fashion that would have allowed the backs to be seen. It is not clear how or if the panels were originally joined. Like the other two panels, this one is silvered, punched, and painted with a pattern of diamond-shaped lozenges in blue and red on the verso; the outer edges were originally silvered and punched. It has been suggested that the polyptych may have been produced for the Spedale of Santa Maria Nuova in Florence.
Sciarra collection, Rome; Gardner and Vicomte Bernard d'Hendecourt, Paris; F. Kleinberger Galleries, New York; acquired by Philip Lehman in 1914; Pauline Ickelheimer, New York. Acquired by Robert Lehman in 1946.
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F. Mason Perkins. "Dipinti senesi sconosciuti o inediti." Rassegna d'arte, 14 (1914), pp. 98-99.

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Kenneth L. Ames. "An Annunciation by Niccolò de Buonaccorso." The Wadsworth Atheneum Bulletin, 2 (1966), pp. 24, 29. Fig. 4.

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