Coronation of the Virgin and Saints

Agnolo degli Erri; Bartolomeo degli Erri

Modena, documented from 1441 until 1497; Modena, documented from 1460 until 1479


Tempera on wooden panel, 288 x 220cm

This polyptych was made for the Modenese Confraternity of Death by the Erri brothers between 1462 and 1466. It was sold in 1577 and bought by the Galleria Estense in 1884 thanks to the young Alfonso Venturi who had tracked it down in the Chiesa di Cassano, Polinago.

Straddling both the local painting tradition and the novelties being developed in Tuscany, the altarpiece is one of the most important Modenese painting of the fifteenth century. The marvellous original frame (practically in pristine condition), divides the composition in separate compartments according to late-gothic models. Yet an overall sense of unity is attained through the pervasive luminosity and a  careful use of perspective.

Coming from a long line of artists, Agnolo and Bartolomeo degli Erri contributed to the diffusion of Renaissance forms in the Po Valley. Indeed, the brothers became Modena’s answer to the innovative work being carried out in Ferrara and Bologna by Francesco del Cossa and Marco Zoppo.