KULMBACH, Hans Süss von
(b. ca. 1480, Kulmbach, d. 1522, Nürnberg)

The Ascension of Christ

Oil on fir panel, 60 x 36 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

This painting shows Christ rising to heaven above a compact group of the twelve apostles and the Virgin Mary. Only the feet and lower legs are visible. St Peter, identifiable by his baldness and the yellow of his cloak and the Virgin Mary kneel in the immediate foreground arranged symmetrically around the composition's vertical axis.

It can be noted that the composition borrows from Albrecht Dürer's Ascension in the Small Passio woodcut series. However, it departs from Dürer and returns to an earlier tradition with the symmetrical placement of Peter and Mary in the foreground, as e.g. in Schäufelein's woodcut.