The Catechetical Review - Communicating Christ for a New Evangelization

Learning through Art: The Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary

Authored by Dr. Caroline Farey in Issue #30.3 of The Sower
In order to understanding the full scope of this fresco by Filippino Lippi of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven , look firstly at the insert picture of the whole wall. There is no doubt that this is an extraordinary background scene for contemplation during the sacrifice of the mass that takes place on the altar directly in front of this back wall of the chapel. The artist Filippino Lippi, writing about Cardinal Carafa his patron, said about this painting: ‘he goes to great expense for it, sparing nothing’. You can see from the insert that the central scene is the depiction of the annunciation within a temple structure. This is the scene which is placed immediately above the altar. It is painted in such a way that it also sits directly in front of the whole drama of the assumption taking place above, behind and all around it. For example, one end of the empty tomb of Our Lady can be seen on the left with St Peter crouched down behind it. While on the right, you can see St John in the red cloak gazing upwards to meet the gaze of Mary as she looks tenderly down to him.

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This article is from The Sower and may be copied for catechetical purposes only. It may not be reprinted in another published work without the permission of Maryvale Institute. Contact sower@maryvale.ac.uk

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