Virgin Crowned by an Angel, 1520. Albrecht Dürer (German, 1471-1528). Engraving; The Cleveland Museum of Art, Gift of The Print Club of Cleveland 1973.215
The boundary between heaven and earth is obscured in this engraving as an angel descends to crown the Virgin with a simple diadem. Although she is plainly dressed and sits on a simple wooden bench, Dürer portrays Mary as the Queen of Heaven. Her direct gaze communicates her role as an intermediary with God for the sake of humankind.
Like his Virgin with the Swaddled Child of the same year, Dürer employed a halo emitting dense striations of light to emphasize the Virgin’s holiness. He considered the two part of a set of three engravings and gave several away during his journey to the Netherlands from 1520 to 1521.