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The Assumption of the VirginEnlarge image

The Assumption of the Virgin, 1455-1456

Neri di Bicci
Italian, 1419 - 1493
egg tempera with oil glazes and gold leaf on wood, likely poplar
216 x 221 cm irregular
Purchased 1930
National Gallery of Canada (no. 3716.1)

NEW - This altarpiece, painted for the Spini family chapel in Santa Trìnita, Florence, was Neri's first important commission. After the Virgin's burial, her body was taken up into heaven. The apostles who gather around her sarcophagus find only flowers within. Some stare in amazement or are lost in grief; others understand the true nature of the miracle and look up to see the Virgin in glory. In answer to St. Thomas' doubts, the Virgin offers him physical proof - giving him her sash, a relic preserved in Prato, near Florence. At bottom is a picture within a picture: a Crucifixion, which refers to the Mass celebrated at the altar below.

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