The Coronation of the Virgin
In this painting by by Velázquez, Mary is placed in the center with Christ on the left, God the Father on the right, and the Holy Spirit between the two, forming the Holy Trinity. It measures nearly 70 x 52 inches and the original work is in Museo del Prado.
The composition forms an inverted triangle, but it also looks heart-shaped. The Virgin Mary is the focal figure, with an attitude of modesty, reverence, and emotion; her right hand placed upon her heart reinforces that idea. God the Father is painted as an old man, representing wisdom; both the Father and the Son are shown in the act of crowning the head of the Virgin with a garland of roses. The Holy Spirit is portrayed in the traditional form of a white dove. These three persons are presented at the same height, reminding us of the perfect equality within the Holy Trinity. Cherubs are visible at the base of the painting.
The use of blues and violets in their garments, instead of the traditional red, is another detail to catch our attention. Blue symbolizes heavenly grace. The Virgin Mary is often depicted wearing blue. Blue also represents hope, good health, and the state of servitude. Purple colors are always associated with royalty.
Meditation: Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy, hail, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To you we cry, the children of Eve; to you we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this land of exile. Turn, then, most gracious advocate, your eyes of mercy toward us; lead us home at last and show us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus: O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.
V. Pray for us O holy Mother of God,
R. that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray: Almighty, everlasting God, who by the co-operation of the Holy Spirit did prepare the body and soul of the glorious Virgin-Mother Mary to become a dwelling-place fit for thy Son: grant that as we rejoice in her commemoration; so by her fervent intercession we may be delivered from present evils and from everlasting death. Through the same Christ our Lord.