About This Artwork

Colyn de Coter
Netherlandish, 1450/55–before 1539/40

Virgin and Child Crowned by Angels, 1490/95

Oil on panel
151.9 x 88.6 cm (59 13/16 x 34 7/8 in.)
Painted surface: 150 x 86.8 cm (59 1/16 x 34 1/8 in.)
[sic]*MATER*REGIS*ANGVLO / RVM (on hem of the Virgin’s

Mr. and Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson Collection, 1933.1039

Colyn de Coter directed a workshop in Brussels well into the 16th century, but his style and subjects reflect the traditions of the great 15th-century Netherlandish painters Robert Campin, Jan van Eyck, and Rogier van der Weyden. Here the well-appointed, bourgeois interior underscores Christ’s humanity, even as angels crown the Virgin as the Queen of Heaven. Like his predecessors, De Coter used details of the setting to emphasize both the human and divine aspects of Christ’s nature. Thus, the lion carved on the arm of Mary’s chair alludes to the biblical throne of Solomon, and the prayer inscribed on the hem of her cloak hails her as "mother of the king of angels." The somewhat claustraphobic treatment of space reflects de Coter’s own style.

— Permanent collection label

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

New York, Kleinberger, Loan Exhibition of Flemish Primitives, 1929, no. 33.

Art Institute of Chicago, A Century of Progress, 1933, no. 37.

Art Institute of Chicago, A Century of Progress, 1934, no. 118.

Publication History

Max J. Friedländer, “Bernaert van Orley,” Jahrbuch der königlich preussischen Kunstsammlungen 29 (1908), pp. 229–31, fig. 4.

Walter Cohen, in Ulrich Thieme and Felix Becker, Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart, vol. 7, Leipzig, 1912, p. 553.

“Notes,” Bulletin of the Art Institute of Chicago 6 (1913), pp. 36–37 (ill.).

The Art Institute of Chicago, General Catalogue of Paintings, Sculpture, and Other Objects in the Museum, 1913, p. 196.

The Art Institute of Chicago, General Catalogue of Paintings, Sculpture, and Other Objects in the Museum, 1914, p. 208.

“Loan Collections,” Bulletin of the Art Institute of Chicago 7 (1914), p. 38.

The Art Institute of Chicago, Handbook of Sculpture, Architecture, Paintings, and Drawings, vol. 2, August 1920, p. 61.

Martin Conway, The Van Eycks and Their Followers, London, 1921 , pp. 263–64, pl. 12.3.

The Art Institute of Chicago, Handbook of Sculpture, Architecture, and Paintings, May 1922, p. 70.

Erwin Hensler, “Eine neuentdeckte Madonna von Colijn de Coter,” Jahrbuch der preussischen Kunstsammlungen 45 (1924), pp. 117, 120, fig. 2.

Max J. Friedländer, Die altniederländische Malerei, vol. 4, Berlin, 1926, pp. 119–20, 147, no. 99, pl. 72; rev. English ed., Early Netherlandish Painting, Brussels and Leiden, 1969, pp. 65, 84, no. 99, pl. 91.

Rose Mary Fischkin, “Martin A. Ryerson Collection of Paintings and Sculpture, XIII to XVII Century, Loaned to The Art Institute of Chicago,” unpub. MS, 1926, Ryerson Library, The Art Institute of Chicago, pp. 80–81.

H. Fierens-Gevaert and Paul Fierens, Histoire de la peinture flamande des origines à la fin du XVe siècle, vol. 3, Paris and Brussels, 1929, p. 92.

The Art Institute of Chicago, A Guide to the Paintings in the Permanent Collection, 1932, p. 179, no. R 1201/17.

Daniel Catton Rich, “Die Ausstellung ‘Fünf Jahrhunderte der Frühmalerei in Chicago,’” Pantheon 6 (1933), p. 376.

Jeanne Maquet-Tombu, Colyn de Coter, peintre bruxellois, Brussels, 1937, pp. 31–32, 100–01, pl. 5.

An American Correspondent, “Flemish and Dutch Paintings in the Ryerson Collection,” Connoisseur 119 (1947), pp. 48–49, fig. 5.

Rolf Fritz, “Aquilegia: Die symbolische Bedeutung der Akelei,” Wallraf-Richartz-Jahrbuch 24 (1952), p. 108, no. 42. AIC 1961, p. 106.

Hélène Adhémar, Le Musée National du Louvre, Paris, Corpus de la peinture des anciens Pays-Bas méridionaux au quinzième siècle, 5, vol. 1, Brussels, 1962, p. 96.

Beneth A. Jones, Bob Jones University: Supplement to the Catalogue of the Art Collection, Greenville, S.C., 1968, p. 47, under no. 201.

Ursula Hoff and Martin Davies, The National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Corpus de la peinture des anciens Pays-Bas méridionaux au quinzième siècle, 12, Brussels, 1971, p. 32.

Catheline Périer-d’Ieteren, “Coter (Colyn ou Collin De),” in Académie
Royale des Sciences, des Lettres, et des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, Biographie nationale, vol. 39, fasc. 1, Brussels, 1976, cols. 204, 206.

Lorne Campbell, review of Elisa Bermejo Martinez, La pintura de los primitivos flamencos en España, in Burlington Magazine 123 (1981), p. 555.

C[atheline] Périer-d’Ieteren, Colyn de Coter et la technique picturale des peintres flamands du XVe siècle, Brussels, 1985, pp. 57, 64–66, 68, 78, 85, 94–97, 128–29, 132, 146–48, 175–76, figs. 206–08.

Guy Bauman and Walter A. Liedtke, Flemish Paintings in America: A Survey of Early Netherlandish and Flemish Paintings in the Public Collections of North America, Antwerp, 1992 , p. 324, no. 161 (ill.).

Art Institute of Chicago, Glad Tidings of Great Joy, Chicago, 1993, pp. 36–37 (ill.), 39.

C[atheline] Périer-d’Ieteren, “Coter, Colijn,” in Dictionary of Art, vol. 8, 1996,
pp. 24–25.

Didier Martens, “Le Groupe des oeuvres au Feuillage brodé: Quelques Propositions,” in Le Maître au Feuillage brodé: Primitifs flamands; Secrets d’atelier, exh. cat., Lille, Palais des Beaux-Arts, 2005, pp. 59, 64, fig. 59.

Martha Wolff in Martha Wolff et al., Northern European and Spanish Paintings before 1600 in the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, 2008, pp. 192-97, ill.

John Nolan in Trinita Kennedy and John Nolan, A Divine Light: Northern Renaissance Paintings from the Bob Jones University Museum & Gallery, exh. cat., Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, Tennessee, 2011, pp. 151, 153.

Ownership History

Probably Don Luis Portilla, Madrid, by 1880; sold, Madrid, 1880, no. 89 [first suggested by Campbell 1981; then attributed to Rogier van der Weyden, is described as “La Vírgen y el Niño; dos Angeles la coronan y otro presenta al Niño un canastillo de flores” (the Virgin and Child; two angels crown her and another presents a basket of flowers to the Child)]. J. G. Arthur, London [according to Colnaghi stock card]; sold to Colnaghi, London, Dec. 1906, with a half-share owned by Knoedler, Paris and New York [Colnaghi stock card]; sold by Knoedler, New York, to Ryerson, for $15,000, Oct. 31, 1912 [bill of sale, Art Institute Archives]; Martin A. Ryerson (d. 1932), Chicago; on loan to the Art Institute from 1913; bequeathed to the Art Institute, 1933.

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