Assumption of the Virgin (Andrea del Castagno)

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Assumption of the Virgin
Del Castagno Andrea Our Lady of the Assumption with Sts Miniato and Julian.jpg
Artist Andrea del Castagno
Year 1449–1450
Type Tempera and gold on panel
Dimensions 150 cm × 158 cm (59 in × 62 in)
Location Gemäldegalerie, Berlin

The Assumption of the Virgin between St. Miniato and St. Julian is a painting by the Italian early Renaissance master Andrea del Castagno, executed around 1449-1450. It is now housed in the Gemäldegalerie of Berlin.

History[edit]

An inscription mentioned by Filippo Baldinucci, dated 20 November 1449, reported that the altarpiece was commissioned by the rector of San Miniato tra le Torri, a church in Florence. It was paid 104 liras in the April 1450.

The church was demolished around 1888 and its heritage dispersed, after which Andrea del Castagno's Assumption was acquired by Berlin's Gemäldegalerie.

Description[edit]

The painting portrays Mary in a wide blue cloak, while she is lifted up from a sepulchre depicted in perspective. The cloak, as typical in Andrea del Castagno, is painted with a heavy use of chiaroscuro. The sepulchre contains roses, a flower usually associated with the Virgin. She is carried within a brilliant mandorla by three angels.

At Mary's sides, both with a red aureola, are St. Julian (left, with a sword) and St. Minias of Florence (right, with a stick and a crown). While the Virgin is portrayed in a realistic posture, the two saints have a more mystic and static appearance.

The background was painted in gold, with a blending effect in correspondence of the saints' aureolas.

Sources[edit]

  • Paolieri, Annarita (1991). Paolo Uccello, Domenico Veneziano, Andrea del Castagno. Florence: Scala.