(b. ca. 1410, Siena, d. 1449, Siena)

Assumption of the Virgin

Tempera on wood, 86 x 51 cm
Christian Museum, Esztergom

The Assumption was a very frequent subject in Sienese painting. The cult of Mary was very intensive in Siena. Pietro di Giovanni's picture follows the compositional scheme in which Mary, enthroned on clouds in full frontal representation, is surrounded by cherubs, and she is received in the heaven by Christ and the prophets.

Noteworthy motif is the landscape below where St Thomas is standing beside the empty tomb. St. Thomas asks a proof from the Virgin for her miraculous assumption. In answer to this request, Mary unfastens and drops her belt to the doubtful apostle. The belt became the most famous Marian relic; it is now a treasure of the Cathedral in Prato.

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