SERODINE, Giovanni
(b. 1600, Ascona, d. 1630, Roma)

Coronation of the Virgin with Saints

c. 1625
Oil on canvas
Parish church, Ascona

This is one of the greatest, most unusual and uncomfortably intense masterpieces produced in Italy during the seventeenth century. The altarpiece is one of only a handful of certain attributions from which we can reconstruct the unhappy career of Serodine. In the canvas for his parish church he structured the scene into two layers. At the top of the picture, there is a blurred vision of the coronation of the Virgin. Below, we see the motionless face of Christ on a cloth around which cluster six ragged saints, whom Serodine treats with even greater harshness and directness than ever seen in Caravaggio.