The Assumption of the Virgin
Oil on canvas
of Santa Maria del Popolo, Rome
Carraci makes the Assumption quite literally palpable. St.
John reaches out to touch the Virgin's blue mantle. The hand of
another apostle can be seen reaching into the empty tomb below the
three putti, and St. Peter's hand grasps the lip of the
sepulchre (see detail). Two
others hold their right hands to their hearts,
while only one (St. Thomas?) holds his hands out and away from the
miraculous event (see detail).
The Apostles, too, are made more palpable than usual in Assumption
paintings; note the foot that presses out toward the viewer in the
lower left and St. Peter's roughly muscular knee (see detail).
frame seems to press the apostles in toward her even as she
ascends. The effect of all this is to intensify the viewer's
participation in the sense of awe on the faces of the apostles.
More of the Assumption
Photographed at the
site by Richard Stracke