Porta della Mandorla, Florence Cathedral

Assumption of the Virgin
Nanni di Banco
marble relief

The north side of the Florence Cathedral with the Porta della Mandorla (so-called because of the almond-shaped aureole in which the Virgin ascends to Heaven in the gable above the door)


The Assumption of the Virgin

Four angels lift the mandorla while the Virgin hands her girdle to St. Thomas at the bottom left (the belt has since disappeared). A famous doubter, Thomas had asked for a sign she had really ascended. Three music-playing angels are at the top of the gable while a bear shakes an oak tree for acorns at the bottom right. Frederick Hartt explains that perhaps Nanni contrasts the animal's greed with the divine grace granted to St. Thomas. He also sees the energetic style as proto-Baroque.

See also Orsanmichele for Verrocchio's Doubting of Thomas and Nanni di Banco's Four Crowned Martyrs.

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Copyright Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.

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