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FRA ANGELICO

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THE DEATH AND ASSUMPTION OF THE VIRGIN (DETAIL: ANGELS KNEELING BEFORE THE VIRGIN), 1430-1434

About the Artwork

Possessed of great delicacy, this little painting also compels attention through its complexity. In the lower scene, enclosed by a wall, the body of the Virgin lies on a bier draped with sumptuous gold textiles. She is surrounded by Christ’s disciples, who miraculously appeared as she lay dying... The Assumption of the Virgin is seen above. Three days after her burial, she ascended into heaven. Fra Angelico depicts the Virgin rising upwards, surrounded by a chorus of music angels.

Source: Alan Chong, "The Death and Assumption of the Virgin," in Eye of the Beholder, edited by Alan Chong et al. (Boston: ISGM and Beacon Press, 2003): 45

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