Neri di Bicci

The Assumption of the Virgin

1455-1456
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 gathered around her sarcophagus find only flowers within. Some stare in amazement; some are lost in grief; others, understanding the true nature of the miracle, look heavenward to see the Virgin in glory. To relieve Saint Thomas’ doubts, the Virgin offers physical proof, giving him her sash. Deemed a holy relic, it was venerated at Prato, near Florence. At bottom is a picture within a picture: a Crucifixion, which refers to the Mass celebrated at the altar below.
Title
The Assumption of the Virgin
Date
1455-1456
Medium
Painting
Materials
egg tempera with oil glazes and gold leaf on wood, likely poplar
Dimensions
216 x 221 cm irregular
Nationality
Italian
Credit line
Purchased 1930
Accession number
3716.1