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Matteo di Giovanni: 'The Assumption of the Virgin'

As the Virgin rises to heaven surrounded by angels music-making, her girdle falls from her waist. It is about to be caught by Saint Thomas, the disciple who doubted that Christ had risen from the dead and who was given this extra proof of the Virgin's Assumption. Christ, accompanied by prophets and ancestors, among them David and John the Baptist, welcomes his mother.

The painting, said to have been dated 1474, formed the centre of an altarpiece in S. Agostino, Asciano, near Siena where Matteo di Giovanni worked. Side panels representing Saint Michael and Saint Augustine survive in Asciano. The Annunciation and perhaps other saints were represented on a higher tier of the polyptych.

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