Skip to main content

Michel Sittow, The Ascension

Key facts
Full title The Ascension
Artist Michel Sittow
Artist dates 1468/9-1525/6
Date made 1500-2
Medium and support Oil on oak
Dimensions 22 × 16.5 cm
Acquisition credit On loan from a private collection
Inventory number L1002
Location Room 27
Image copyright On loan from a private collection, © Private collection
Collection Main Collection
The Ascension
Michel Sittow

A host of Christ's followers gather on a hilltop to witness his ascension into heaven. As the group watches from below, Christ's feet disappear into an opening in the clouds.

The biblical account of Christ's ascension is minimal and does not name individual witnesses. Here, the Virgin Mary and Saint John the Evangelist are recognisable as the central characters. Mary Magdalene is the more sumptuously dressed woman in gold and Saint Peter is the figure in white in the foreground.

'The Ascension' was part of a series of 47 devotional panels painted for the Catholic Queen Isabella of Castile, showing scenes from the life of Christ and the Virgin. Only 27 of these now survive, the majority of which are thought to have been painted by Juan de Flandes or his studio. They include 'Christ appearing to the Virgin'.

Why can't I download this image?

The National Gallery has endeavoured to make as many images of the collection as possible available for non-commercial use. However, an image of this painting is not available to download. This may be due to third party copyright restrictions.

If you require a license for commercial use of this image, please use the National Gallery Company's Online Picture Library or contact them using the following: