GIOTTO di Bondone
(b. 1267, Vespignano, d. 1337, Firenze)

Scenes from the Life of St John the Evangelist: 3. Ascension of the Evangelist

c. 1315
Fresco, 280 x 450 cm
Peruzzi Chapel, Santa Croce, Florence

Giotto illustrates the miracle of the ascension of John the Evangelist using the astonished, startled reactions of the group at the open tomb. The other group appears blinded and in the grip of a shock wave. The ascension takes place between these two groups: Christ, surrounded by heavenly hosts, appears above the building. He emits golden rays, which envelop the body of the evangelist. They transport the latter to a different sphere and seem like a materialization of the gaze with which Christ looks at John. We are given the impression that the energy, which overcomes gravity, lies more in the meeting of the eyes than in the coincidence of the gestures.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.