Assumption of the Virgin
Assumption of the Virgin
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Titian Paints his Assumption of the Virgin

Assumption of the Virgin (1516-1518) is a large oil painting by Titian. It is located in the Basilica of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari in Venice, being the largest altarpiece in the city.

The picture shows different events in three layers. In the lowest one are represented the Apostles, their arms raised towards the sky, with the exception of St. Peter, whose arms are folded. They are looking at the Virgin Mary who is flying between them and God, standing on a cloud and surrounded by celebrating and dancing cherubim. Next to God, who is waiting for her, is another cherub holding the crown of the Holy Glory.

Titian may have trained as a mosaicist, and it has been suggested the golden background is a homage to the tradition of Venetian mosaics. This panel was important in establishing Titian's popularity in Venice. According to some sources, an envoy to the emperor Charles V was present at the unveiling ceremony: he asked the friars, who were doubtful about the painting's quality, to buy it lest they were tempted to remove it.

In 1818 it was moved to the Venice's Academy, returning to its original place in 1919.