The Dormition and Assumption of the Virgin 1430-1434 Fra Angelico, Italian, about 1400-1455
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. Four of them prepare to lift the body and carry it to the tomb. In the center of the composition, Christ, too, has appeared to accept the Virgin's soul, represented by the infant he holds in his arms. Angels fill the scene to bare witness to this striking moment.