Catholic Company / Magazine
5 Ways a Famous Catholic Painting Inspired Us at The Catholic Company Latest

5 Ways a Famous Catholic Painting Inspired Us at The Catholic Company

Feb 22, 2024 by

There is something truly transcendent about the beloved Catholic painting The Coronation of the Virgin by Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez. What's so special about the painting, and how did it inspire us at The Catholic Company to create our own line of jewelry in celebration of Mary? 

Here are 5 fascinating facts about this work of art and how it moved us to create a line of exclusive jewelry:

The Coronation of the Virgin Diego Velazquez

1. A Queen for a Queen

Velázquez painted The Coronation of the Virgin for Queen Elisabeth of Spain's new prayer chapel in Madrid's Alcázar palace. Elisabeth, also known as Isabella of Bourbon (1602-1644), was the French wife of King Philip IV.

Intended to complete a series of paintings celebrating the feasts of Our Lady, this famous oil on canvas was part of a gorgeous collection of 54 religious images displayed in the private prayer chapel in or around 1636. Historians still debate the precise date. 

The painting now resides in the Museo del Prado, Spain's national art museum, in Madrid. 

Madrid's Alcázar Palace Burns

2. A Palace Ablaze 

About 100 years after it was hung for display in the palace, the castle burned to the ground on Christmas Eve, 1734. The fire destroyed over 500 irreplaceable works of art by artists such as Titian, da Vinci, Rubens, Bosch, Raphael, El Greco, Durer, Tintoretto, and Velázquez. It is widely viewed as the most tragic loss in fine art history. 

Historians believe the fire began in the chambers of the French painter Jean Ranc, then the Spanish royal family’s official portraitist. He denied this vehemently, begging to oversee the restoration of the salvaged works of art, but died only 6 months after the blaze.

The fire devastated the castle while most everyone was worshipping at Midnight Mass. Researchers believe that the fire bell alarm was mistaken for the chimes of Christmas at the castle, so help did not arrive.

Those present in the palace worked together to save over 1200 pieces of art. Many were cut from their frames and hurled from windows, so each salvaged work is a small artistic miracle. Historians record that Velázquez's body of works were the hardest hit. 

He had many pieces in the royal household because of his longstanding position in the court of the King.

3. The Grand Finale

In his career of over 20 years and approximately 120 known works, Diego Velázquez is considered by many to be the most influential figure in Spanish painting and portraiture. Despite this renown, he painted very few religious subjects. The Coronation is his last known religious canvas. 

The artist was not only a successful painter, but a well-respected member of the Spanish court. The king entrusted him with increasing responsibility and promoted him to a variety of important roles. Eventually his service to the king took significant time away from his painting.


Among the positions he held were Assistant of Wardrobe, Gentleman of the Bedchamber, and Superintendent of Palace Works. He was also responsible for a large and complex project to modernize the palace.

He enlisted a son-in-law to assist him in his art and was eventually named a Knight of Santiago. This prestigious honor named for St. James, Patron of Spain, was bestowed for loyalty and service to the Crown.


4. 400 Years of Inspiration 

The Coronation of the Virgin still transports us 400 years later to the celestial realm where the Triune God honors the Blessed Virgin. In the painting, Mary is draped in royal robes before the grandeur of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as she receives her crown of roses.

The Angels of heaven surround Mary, seated upon the clouds and bathed in ethereal light. Her gaze is serene and humble, reflecting her dual role as Handmaid of the Lord and Mediatrix of All Graces. Her eyes are cast down in piety and reverence, while a barely perceptible smile portrays devotion and motherly hope.

Velázquez captured Christ and God the Father in their divine splendor. Together in glory and triumph, they crown Mary, who is Daughter, Mother, Spouse, and now Queen.

More than just a depiction of a Marian feast or Rosary mystery, The Coronation of the Virgin models earthy devotion, sublime faith, and obedience. It images the promise of eternity, and beckons us to look to our Mother as we aspire to heaven. 



5. Our Own Tribute 

Drawing inspiration from The Coronation of the Virgin, we designed a line of striking and elegant Marian jewelry featuring Our Lady as the centerpiece. We hope these extraordinary necklaces, bracelets, and rings honor her and inspire you.

In each piece, rays of grace illuminate Our Mother, as petite roses form a halo encircling or accenting her form. With  inlaid roses, gemstone accents, and other lovely fine detailing, we sought to bring majestic beauty into the design elements of these pieces that honor the Queen of Heaven.


We meticulously and expertly crafted this gorgeous line of jewelry with tradition and reverence in mind. Choosing sterling silver or sterling with an 18 KT gold overlay for the jewelry, we developed pieces that are thicker, more substantial, and more enduring than those featuring simple gold plating. 


For even greater elegance, we chose gorgeous gemstones of the highest quality and enduring symbolism: blood-red garnets and luminous white topaz.

[[52353, 52354]]

Since ancient times, garnets have symbolized the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross and the Precious Blood shed for us. They are also symbolic of protection, trust, commitment, and love. What better gemstone to honor Our Lady's role as our loving Mother?

Crystal-clear white topaz has long been prized for its brilliance and symbolizes purity and truth. We could see no more fitting tribute to Our Lady's purity and the truth of our Faith, so we incorporated these elements into our gorgeous designs.

Honoring Our Mother & Model

These elaborately accented and intricate pieces convey beauty, of course, but beyond that, we hope they will be a constant reminder of Mary's loving protection as our own Mother, and the remarkable virtues she modeled as the Mother of God. 

You can see the first few designs here, and we hope to bring you more over time. 

The jewelry from this collection is an extraordinary gift of faith and love, a sign of devotion to the Queen of Heaven, and a symbol of her powerful protection over someone you cherish. She will count them among her favorite pieces and wear them as a visible sign of devotion to the Queen of Heaven.


Celebrate Marian consecration, express your devotion to Our Lady, or proclaim your faith. Bring deluxe, high-quality pieces into your own collection. Give them as a gift to someone special whose faith encourages and elevates your own.

Inspired by the beloved painting The Coronation of the Virgin by Diego Velázquez and its remarkable history, these proprietary designs are exclusively ours and available only at The Catholic Company.