The Coronation of the Virgin by Simone de' Crocifissi will be shown to the public in Bologna

Bologna, Simone de' Crocifissi's Coronation of the Virgin on display in the spaces of the Lercaro Collection.

The Lercaro Foundation and theZoni Institute of Bologna present the exhibition, in the museum spaces of the Lercaro Collection, of the splendid panel painting by Simone di Filippo Benvenuti known as “dei Crocifissi”(Bologna, c. 1330 - 1399) depicting theCoronation of the Virgin.

It is a tempera on panel painting signed and dated 1382, kept by the Sisters of Charity of St. Jeanne Antida Thouret inside the premises of the Zoni Institute in Bologna, which arose next to the small church of Santa Maria Incoronata, in the stretch of wall between Porta San Vitale and Porta San Donato. Restored by the Lercaro Foundation from the workshop of Camillo Tarozzi under theHigh Supervision of the Soprintendenza Archeologia, Belle Arti e Paesaggio for the metropolitan city of Bologna, courtesy of the Zoni Institute, this small but precious painting now enters the museum itinerary of the Lercaro Collection to show itself to all in the profound delicacy of its colors and the rich symbolism of its meanings.

The work, which came to the Church of the Incoronata in 1669 and was placed on the high altar to replace the ancient and now ruined fresco from which the devotion to Mary Queen originated, according to sources came from the house of the Tertiary Sisters of the Annunciata in Borgo Orfeo, who had given it in exchange for a copy of the original painted by a painter of the time.
Replaced in turn with a copy, from the late 20th century traces of it had been lost until last year.

This is how Guido Zucchini first described it in 1934 in the pages of the magazine Il Comune di Bologna: "It is a work of the artist’s maturity. On a bench covered with a silken drapery stand seated the Redeemer and the Virgin; the former with his left hand holds the scepter, with his right he places the crown on the head of the Madonna, bowing his head in reverence, holding out his hands in an act of submission. A rich curtain, stretched behind the pew or throne, gives a glimpse of some stars from the sky. At the top, eight angels, four on each side, bow their heads symmetrically in an act of adoration."

The theme of theCoronation of the Virgin, which usually constitutes the final scene of the cycles dedicated to her, after her death and assumption into heaven, finds its own iconographic and devotional autonomy from the 13th century onward, drawn from the very ancient text Transitus Virginise later popularized by the Legenda aureadi Jacopo da Varagine. Mary, who is equally mother and daughter of God, simultaneously becomes a symbol of humanity saved and glorified through Christ’s sacrifice, and of the Church, his bride. Thus are fulfilled the words of the Song of Songs (4:8), “Come from Lebanon, bride, come from Lebanon, you shall be crowned.” In Simon of the Crucified the iconography is frequent. However, the rediscovered painting has a very high pictorial quality and extraordinary conservation integrity.

The exhibition will be held on December 12, 2018. For all information you can call +39 051 6566210 or send an email to

Pictured: Simone dei Crocifissi, Coronation of the Virgin (1382; tempera on panel; Bologna, Raccolta Lercaro)

The Coronation of the Virgin by Simone de' Crocifissi will be shown to the public in Bologna
The Coronation of the Virgin by Simone de' Crocifissi will be shown to the public in Bologna

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