Thursday, June 25, 2009

Miracle of the Snow: Assumption of the Virgin

Title: Miracle of the Snow: Assumption of the Virgin
Artist: Masolino da Panicale
Date: c. 1428-1432
Size: 144 x 76 cm
Location: Naples, Museo di Capodimonte

This painting is the central panel of a reverse side of the triptych 'Miracle of the Snow' made for the Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome. The feast day of the Assumption of the Virgin is August 15, date of the Miracle of the Snow.

The painting commemorates an event in August 352, when a rectangle of snow was discovered on Mount Esquiline, one of the famous Seven Hills of Rome. Snowfall of any sort was unheard of that time of year, but that it had fallen only in one place and in such a specific pattern was regarded as a phenomenon. People crowded to see the patch of snow, which persisted despite the heat. The Pope had dreamt that Our Lady desired a church to be built on Mount Esquiline, and he was so moved by his dream that he visited the mysterious snowfall. As soon as the plot for the building had been staked out the snow melted

The Artist, also known as Tommaso di Cristofano Fini, was born in Panicale in Valdelsa, about 1383 and died in Florence, Italy, 1435/40.It is likely that he was an assistant to the famous Florentine artist Ghilberti between 1403 and 1407.

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