Title: Assumption of the Virgin
Artist: Federico Zuccaro
Medium: Oil on canvas
Date: c. 1566
Location: Museo Diocesano, Cortona.
The Assumption of Mary is a belief held by many Christians that the Virgin Mary, at the end of her life, was physically taken up into heaven. The earliest known narrative is the so-called Liber Requiei Mariae (The Book of Mary's Repose), a narrative which survives intact only in an Ethiopic translation. Probably composed by the 4th century, this early Christian apocryphal narrative may be as early as the 3rd century. The Roman Catholic Church teaches as dogma that Mary, "having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory." Pope John Paul II quoted John 14:3 as a scriptural basis for understanding the dogma. In this verse, Jesus tells his disciples at the Last Supper, “When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am." According to Catholic theology, Mary is the pledge of the fulfillment of Christ's promise.
In Zuccaro’s image, flanked by
Federico Zuccaro, also known as Federigo Zuccari (c. 1542 - July 20, 1609), was an Italian Mannerist painter and architect, active both in