This painting is part of the group: The San Pier Maggiore Altarpiece

The 12 main panels of the altarpiece, one of the largest to be commissioned in 14th-century Florence, are in the National Gallery Collection. The predella shows scenes from the life of Saint Peter and is dispersed in different collections.

The painting was commissioned for the church of San Pier Maggiore in Florence, probably by the Albizzi family. The accounts of 1370 show that a certain Niccolò, probably Niccolò di Pietro Gerini, designed the altarpiece. It was painted by Jacopo di Cione and assistants and completed in 1371.

In the centre of the composition of the central panel are Christ and the Virgin, dressed in white and gold, and seated upon a canopied throne surrounded by angels. The panels to each side are densely crowded with saints; to the left a prominent Saint Peter carries a model of San Pier Maggiore. The middle tier of the altarpiece, which would have been supported by heavy buttresses, showed (from left to right) the Nativity, the Adoration of the Kings, the Resurrection, the Maries at the Sepulchre, the Ascension and Pentecost. In the three pinnacles above, the Trinity appeared in the centre with adoring angels on each side. A later, more fluent, Florentine version of the theme is 'The Coronation of the Virgin' by Lorenzo Monaco.

Key facts

Artist
Artist dates
documented 1365; died 1398 -1400
Full title
The Ascension: Upper Tier Panel
Group
Date made
1370-1
Medium and support
Egg tempera on wood
Dimensions
95.5 x 49 cm
Acquisition credit
Bought, 1857
Inventory number
NG577
Location in Gallery

Other paintings in the group: The San Pier Maggiore Altarpiece

Painting
Jacopo di Cione and workshop
1370-1
Attributed to Jacopo di Cione and workshop: 'Adoring Saints: Left Main Tier Panel'
Painting
Jacopo di Cione and workshop
1370-1
Attributed to Jacopo di Cione and workshop: 'Adoring Saints: Right Main Tier Panel'
Painting
Jacopo di Cione and workshop
1370-1
Attributed to Jacopo di Cione and workshop: 'The Trinity: Central Pinnacle Panel'
Painting
Jacopo di Cione and workshop
1370-1
Attributed to Jacopo di Cione and workshop: 'Seraphim, Cherubim and Adoring Angels'
Painting
Jacopo di Cione and workshop
1370-1
Attributed to Jacopo di Cione and workshop: 'Seraphim, Cherubim and Adoring Angels'
Painting
Jacopo di Cione and workshop
1370-1
Attributed to Jacopo di Cione and workshop: 'The Adoration of the Kings'
Painting
Jacopo di Cione and workshop
1370-1
Attributed to Jacopo di Cione and workshop: 'The Resurrection'
Painting
Jacopo di Cione and workshop
1370-1
Attributed to Jacopo di Cione and workshop: 'Pentecost'