Monday, May 2, 2016

Praying the Regina Coeli with Art

The elaborate border of this image seems to say that all creation wants to join our Easter prayer to Mary, the Queen of Heaven.
Unusual for depictions of the Coronation of Mary, here we see only God the Father, while where we might expect to see a dove representing the Holy Spirit, it is a flaming, six-winged Seraph that descends with the crown.

Spitz Master (French, active about 1415 - 1425)
The Coronation of the Virgin, about 1420, Tempera colors, gold, and ink on parchment
Leaf: 20.2 x 14.9 cm (7 15/16 x 5 7/8 in.)
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Monday, April 25, 2016

Praying the Regina Coeli with Art

Queen of Heaven, rejoice! Alleluia!
Thus begins the Easter prayer that replaces the Angelus for 50 days. Even when the Coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven was not expertly painted, it inspired devotion in the users of Books of Hours, such as the one from which this small image was taken:

Monday, April 18, 2016

Praying the Regina Coeli with Art

The humble Virgin is crowned Queen of Heaven, and that is just how we address her during the Easter Season as we pray morning, noon and evening: "Queen of Heaven, rejoice! Alleluia!"

The Coronation of the Virgin, early 16th century, Tempera colors on parchment
Leaf: 13.5 x 10.5 cm (5 5/16 x 4 1/8 in.)
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Monday, April 11, 2016

Praying the Regina Coeli with Art

Images of Mary as Queen, and of her Coronation in particular, abound in medieval books of hours and altarpieces. It is fitting to pray the Easter "Regina Coeli" in this visual context. This depiction, by Gentile da Fabriano, is particularly regal (click for more detail).

Monday, April 4, 2016

Praying the Regina Coeli with Art

Troparion: “Today is the beginning of our salvation, the revelation of the eternal mystery! The Son of God becomes the Son of the Virgin as the Angel Gabriel announces the coming of Grace. Together with him let us cry to the Theotokos: ‘Rejoice, O Full of Grace, the Lord is with you!’” 

In honor of today's  Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, shifted from its traditional date of March 25 (Good Friday this year), the Angelus Project features both an Annunciation image and (since the Regina Coeli replaces the Angelus prayer during the Easter season),  this season's art with images of Mary as Queen, in particular, her Coronation.

The Annunciation by Mikhail Nesterov (1901)

The Coronation of the Virgin
by Francisco Ribalta 

Monday, March 28, 2016

Praying the Regina Coeli with Art

During the Easter Season, the Angelus is traditionally replaced with the "Regina Coeli," sharing Mary's joy in the Resurrection of Jesus. There are few artistic representations of the Virgin Mary on Easter Day. Far more common are images of the Coronation of Mary: the full participation of the Mother in her Son's victory over sin and death. "Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God," that we, too, "might be made worthy of the promises of Christ!"

In this image from the Getty collection, the Coronation of the Virgin is superimposed on scenes from the book of Esther, the Jewish queen who saved her people from genocide.

By the Master of the L├╝beck Bible (Flemish, about 1485-about 1520).

Monday, March 21, 2016

Praying the Angelus with Art: This Week's Image

Last week's image was by Rogier van der Weyden. Scholars see this work by Hans Memling (thought to be the left wing of a diptych), as based on a (strikingly similar) design by van der Weyden (Memling was a member of van der Weyden's workshop).
For more info, see the Metropolitan Museum of Art.