The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of February 26, 2024

Sketch for "The Assumption of the Virgin" (for St. James, Zbraslav, near Prague)?

Sketch for "The Assumption of the Virgin" (for St. James, Zbraslav, near Prague)?

c. 1744
(Italian, 1682–1754)
Framed: 85 x 51.5 x 6.5 cm (33 7/16 x 20 1/4 x 2 9/16 in.); Unframed: 71.6 x 38.2 cm (28 3/16 x 15 1/16 in.)
Location: not on view

Description

According to Roman Catholic theology, the Assumption is the movement of the Virgin Mary's body and soul into heaven. Thus the central figure of the Virgin dominates this scene of the Assumption, outstretching her arms and supported by two angels as she ascends into heaven. Below, saints surround the Virgin's tomb. St. Peter reaches for the foot of the ascending Virgin, suggesting a connection between heaven and earth. Giovanni Battista Piazzetta created this work as a sketch for his larger altarpiece commissioned in 1743 for the Church of St. James in Zbraslav, near Prague. The Assumption of the Virgin is a rare oil sketch by Piazzetta, and the larger composition adheres closely to this model. One difference between the sketch and the altarpiece is that the saints are illuminated more in the preliminary work. A divine light shines on the faces of the Virgin and the figures below her. Above the other figures, the Virgin appears remote and focuses on heaven as she looks upwards and beyond the painting's borders. The grouping of the figures in the center of this painting creates a vast surrounding space which fittingly gives this altarpiece sketch a sense of monumentality.
  • 1955-
    The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio
    UNtil 1955
    Dr. and Mrs. N. Lester Farnacy, by gift to the Cleveland Museum of Art
    ?
    (Alessandro Morandotti [1909-1979] Rome)
    1950
    Hans Dietrich Gronau [1904-1951] or Carmen Groneau [1910-1999], London1
    1950
    (Mrs. Tancred Borenius sale, Sotheby’s, London, June 7, 1950, lot 126, sold to Gronau)
    1948-1950
    Anne-Marie Rüneberg Borenius, Coombe Bissett, Wiltshire, consigned to Sotheby’s
    Until 1948
    Tancred Borenius [1885-1948], London, by descent to his wife, Anne-Marie Rüneberg1
  • Sotheby's (Firm). Old Master Drawings and Paintings. June 7, 1950.
    Sotheby's (Firm). Old Master Drawings and Paintings. June 7, 1950.
    Sotheby's (Firm). Old Master Drawings and Paintings. 1950.
    Sotheby's (Firm). Old Master Drawings and Paintings. 1950.
    Francis Matthiesen, letter to Henry Sayles Francis, Nov. 9, 1955, in CMA curatorial file.
    The Cleveland Museum of Art. Handbook of the Cleveland Museum of Art/1966. Cleveland, OH: The Cleveland Museum of Art, 1966. Reproduced: p. 143 archive.org
    The Cleveland Museum of Art. Handbook of the Cleveland Museum of Art/1969. Cleveland, OH: The Cleveland Museum of Art, 1969. Reproduced: p. 143 archive.org
    The Cleveland Museum of Art. Handbook of the Cleveland Museum of Art/1978. Cleveland, OH: The Cleveland Museum of Art, 1978. Reproduced: p. 142 archive.org
    The Cleveland Museum of Art. The Cleveland Museum of Art Catalogue of Paintings, Part 3: European Paintings of the 16th, 17th, and 18th Centuries. Cleveland, OH: The Cleveland Museum of Art, 1982. Mentioned: p. 389-391; Reproduced: p. 390
  • The Venetian Tradition. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (November 8, 1956-January 1, 1957).
    From El Greco to Pollock: Early and Late Works of European and American Artists. The Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD (organizer) (October 22-December 8, 1968).
    CMA, 1956: "The Venetian Tradition," cat. no. 28.
    Akron Art Insitute, October 1-31, 1957: "Masterpieces Series,"
    Balitmore (Maryland) Museum of Art, October 22-December 8, 1968: " From El Greco to Pollock: Early and Late Works of European and American Artists," cat. no. 38, repr.
  • {{cite web|title=Sketch for "The Assumption of the Virgin" (for St. James, Zbraslav, near Prague)?|url=false|author=Giovanni Battista Piazzetta|year=c. 1744|access-date=26 February 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

Source URL:

https://www.clevelandart.org/art/1955.165