This huge canvas (6.86 x 3.60 meters) was painted using the oil painting technique Tiziano Vezellio between 1516 and 1518 for the church of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari in the Italian city of Venice.
Titian is the great Venetian master of painting during the years of the Italian Renaissance. He is famous above all for his works inspired by mythological stories and also for the portraits he made of the most famous and powerful characters of his time. However, the extensive pictorial production that he has left us thanks to his long life (1490 – 1576) also includes portentous works of religious themes. As an example of this, we can cite this scene en titled the Assumption of the Virgin.
Assumption of the Virgin by Titian
As in any of the subjects he paintedTitian, the great visual protagonist of his work is the extraordinary treatment of color. While this artist's talent goes beyond his mastery of color, he also captured some truly groundbreaking elements of his time. Like here, which presents us with the ascension of Mary to heaven supported by a whole bunch of completely naked angels. A totally innovative and somewhat irreverent iconography for the thought of the 16th century, which in fact earned it condemnation by the ecclesiastical authorities of the time.
NoHowever, the result is one of supreme grandeur. It divides the scene into three main areas, all of them divided and at the same time joined together, starting from a central elongated triangle. A triangle that is configured by the intensely red clothes of two characters at the base of the painting and the Virgin herself in the upper corner of said triangle.
About the Virgin Mary the entire space of the painting is dominated by the brilliance and luminosity of the clear sky, in which the gold makes it shine and everything is framed by a hemisphere in which Paradise is represented, and of course in the center God himself awaiting the arrival of Mary.
The luminosity of the sky contrasts sharply with the center of the painting in its lower area, where there is a conical space that remains in shadow.
But it is very interesting to appreciate the wide range of color, its brightness, its shadows and the light that radiates from the work. It is also very suggestive to see how everything in the scene is painted with enormous vitality and expressiveness. We can see any of the figures that appear in the composition through their gestures and expressions totally surrendered to the emotion of that moment in which they contemplate a supernatural event, such as the ascent to heaven of the Virgin.