Paolo Veneziano's Coronation of the Virgin (Frick Diptych #8) (Hardcover)
The eighth volume in the Frick Diptych series focuses on a stunning fourteenth-century painting, pairing an essay by Frick deputy director Xavier F. Salomon with a fascinating contribution from contemporary composer Nico Muhly. According to Muhly, The Coronation of the Virgin is "a panel of pure theater and music". Painted in 1358 by the Venetian artist Paolo Veneziano (ca. 1295-1362), the apocryphal story of the moment when the Virgin is crowned Queen of Heaven is depicted here in one of the artist's most thrilling and important works. Paolo presents the Virgin and Christ in sumptuous garments and surrounded by a choir of angels playing portable organs, lutes, trumpets, tambourines, and other instruments. The angels symbolize the harmony of the universe; their instruments are the authentic components of a medieval orchestra, accurately depicted and correctly held and played. The decorative sparkle of the surface -- with its brilliant, expensive colours, patterned textiles, and lavish gold leaf -- reflects the Venetians' love of luxury, a taste that enriches much of 14th- and 15th-century art in Venice.
Nico Muhly (b.1981) is an American composer and sought-after collaborator whose influences range from American minimalism to the Anglican choral tradition. The recipient of commissions from The Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and others, he has written more than 100 works for the concert stage, including the opera Marnie (2017), which was staged by the Metropolitan Opera in the fall of 2018. His work for stage and screen include music for the Broadway revival of The Glass Menagerie and scores for films including the Academy Award-winning The Reader. Born in Vermont, Muhly studied composition at the Juilliard School before working as an editor and conductor for Philip Glass. He lives in New York City.Xavier F. Salomon is the deputy director and Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator at the Frick Collection in New York. He is the author of many other volumes in the Frick Diptych series including, most recently Titian's Pietro Aretino and Rembrandt's Polish Rider.