The Assumption of the Virgin

painting by Bernardo DaddiBernardo Daddi (1820-1348) was an Italian painter who painted in the Sienese style. He completed this work sometime between 1337 and 1339. It is composed of tempera on wood with good ground and measures 108 by 136.8 centimeters. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Daddi was known for small altarpieces and triptychs.

The Assumption is what many theologians call Mary’s Assention into Heaven. It is believed that Daddi’s portrayal of the event was painted for a chapel within the cathedral of Prato. It may be the upper half of an altarpiece. The lower section is believed to include Saint Thomas and the other apostles around Mary’s deathbed. However, among Biblical scholars, it is thought to be unclear as to whether or not Mary died before her assumption.

Daddi shows a seated Mary being carried up to heaven by six angels. I suspect the items she is carrying have significance but unfortunately I could only find reference to a palm frond in one version of the assumption. Daddi appears to have a book and perhaps some sort of man-made item in her hands. Mary is surrounded by an egg-like shape and none of the angels are touching either her or her dress.