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.

Key facts

Artist dates
active 1452; died 1495
Full title
The Assumption of the Virgin
Date made
probably 1474
Medium and support
Tempera and gold on wood
331.5 x 174 cm, 150 kg
Inscription summary
Dated and inscribed
Acquisition credit
Bought, 1884
Inventory number
Location in Gallery