Coronation of the Virgin with St. Dominic and St. Francis

This glazed terracotta altarpiece is attributed to Benedetto Buglioni and was made on a commission for Mona Francesca in 1520, as specified by the inscription on the predella of the sculpture. Buglioni was a Florentine sculptor who established his own workshop in the late quattrocento, probably based on knowledge he acquired while training in the della Robbia workshop. The life-size sculpture depicts two angels that fly into the scene from the left and right to crown Mary who nestles baby Jesus in her lap. St. Dominic is shown on the left in a traditional black robe worn by Dominicans, and St. Francis on the right is shown with his characteristic stigmata (wounds on hands and feet that simulate the wounds of Christ). Both of these figures and Mary step forward, appearing as if they might enter the viewer's space. Provenance research specifies that the sculpture was displayed in a tabernacle along a waterway near San Miniato al Montanino until the 18th century. It was then moved to the Bottigli Chapel (which was associated with the family of Mona Francesca's husband) at an estate nearby. Here, the sculpture was decorated with a now lost frame of garlands and flowers. The sculpture was transferred to the Ospedale degli Innocenti in 1905 and is now housed at the Museo degli Innocenti in Florence. Photograph(s) licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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