DONATELLO
(b. ca. 1386, Firenze, d. 1466, Firenze)

Delivery of the Keys to St Peter and the Ascension of Christ

1425-30
Marble, 41 x 114 cm
Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Donatello produced an entire series of marble reliefs in the late 1420s, among them the one depicting the Delivery of the Keys to St Peter and the Ascension of Christ. From an iconographic point of view, the combination of the two biblical scenes in one picture is highly unusual. The relief is an extreme example of the rilievo schiacciato (shallow relief) which Donatello invented. Despite a width of 114 cm, the sculptural depth of the most raised sections of the relief is less than ten millimetres.

It is not known for what purpose the relief was originally produced.