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Churches >  Basilica of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari
Assumption of the Virgin

Author: Tiziano Vecellio
Century: XVI°
DATE: 1518 POSITION: presbytery (on the map n° 12) MEASUREMENTS: 690 x 360 cm METHOD: painted panel

The altar was consecrated on February 13, 1469. The frame, with the two ribbed Corinthian style columns, was made in 1516 to raise the upper part of the convent of the Germano Casale Friars. The entablature holds the statues of the Risen Christ, Saint Francis and Saint Anthony of Padua, works by Lorenzo Bregna. The altar table was separated from the entirety in 1825.

The imposing altarpiece was commissioned to Tiziano in 1516 by Brother Germano, Prior of the Frari Convent, which upon its delivery two years later, caused severe embarrassment to the patronage and had rather cold welcome.

The traditional iconography of the Virgin's Assumption into Heaven was in fact completely renovated and distorted by the master - probably barrowed from the contemporary Raffael-like motifs - to the point of being artistically blasphemous: the giant figures, the flamboyant colors in the figures' robes and flesh and the scene's exitement. Nevertheless, these characteristics made it a cornerstone in the artist's early work and, indeed, his most acclaimed masterpiece. Thanks to the exceptional critical recognition, it later became the most famous image by the master from Cadore.

After a period of exposure at the Accademia Gallery, where it became one of the most praised and favorite paintings of the nineteenth century, Tiziano's masterpiece was returned to its original location on the Basilica's main altar, August 13, 1945, where today you can admire it in the exact conditions intended by the artist.
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