(b. 1541, Candia, d. 1614, Toledo)

The Coronation of the Virgin

Oil on canvas, 163 x 220 cm
Hospital de la Caridad, Illescas

On 18 June 1603 El Greco signed a contract to make and decorate an altarpiece for a miraculous image of the Virgin of Charity belonging to the Hospital de la Caridad in the small town of Illescas halfway between Toledo and Madrid. According to the contract the main altarpiece and the decoration of the vault were to contain four canvases: The Madonna of Charity, The Coronation of the Virgin, The Annunciation and The Nativity. This project was executed in collaboration with the artist's son, Jorge Manual Theotokopoulos. Under a separate contract a further painting, St Ildefonso was made.

The pattern of The Coronation of the Virgin follows closely that of El Greco's first treatment of the subject at Talavera in 1591. The design is effectively adapted to the oval field and to a viewpoint from below, as are also the flanking circular paintings.

Presently the painting is exhibited in the vestry of the church.