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Fresco - Christ ascending
  • Christ ascending
    Luini, Bernardino, born 1475 - died 1532
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Christ ascending

  • Object:

    Fresco

  • Place of origin:

    Milan, Italy (probably, painted)

  • Date:

    ca. 1520-1550 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Luini, Bernardino, born 1475 - died 1532 (follower of, artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Fresco transferred to canvas

  • Museum number:

    359-1898

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

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This fresco fragment, depicting Christ surrounded by angels ascending into heaven, once formed the upper part of a lunette depicting the Ascension of Christ. It was originally in the Oratory of Santa Maria della Passione, next to San Ambrogio, Milan. Painted in the style of the Milanese painter and draughtsman Bernardino Luini (born ca 1480–85; died before 1 July 1532) it probably dates to the second quarter of the sixteenth century.

The Oratory of Santa Maria della Passione was sold to the Administration of San Ambrogio in 1812 and turned into a cloth factory. In 1869 it passed into private ownership and it was at this time that the main scenes of the wall decoration were detached. Part of the series re-appeared in England in 1898 when a group of nine fragments were sold through Fosters' sales rooms. Three of these were purchased by the South Kensington Museum, now the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Place of Origin

Milan, Italy (probably, painted)

Date

ca. 1520-1550 (painted)

Artist/maker

Luini, Bernardino, born 1475 - died 1532 (follower of, artist)

Materials and Techniques

Fresco transferred to canvas

Marks and inscriptions

VIRI GA[LILAEI] QUID STATIS ASPICIENTES IN [CAELUM]/
HIC IESUS QUI [ASSUMPTUS EST A] VOBIS IN CAELUM

Dimensions

Height: 259 cm estimate, Width: 411.4 cm estimate

Object history note

Purchased by V&A, along with two related fragments (360 and 361-1898), from Fosters' sale rooms in 1898

Descriptive line

Fresco fragment transferred to canvas; lunette depicting the Ascension of Christ; originally located in the Oratory of Santa Maria della Passione, Milan; follower of Bernardino Luini; ca 1520 - 1550

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Kauffmann, C.M., Catalogue of Foreign Paintings, I. Before 1800. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1973, pp. 175-6, cat. no. 216.
The following is the full text of the entry:

Bernardino LUINI (active 1512; d. 1532)
Italian (Lombard) School
At first influenced by Bramantino and Pordenone, he later worked in the manner of Leonardo, who had been in Milan ca. 1482-99. He painted mainly frescoes of religious subjects in the churches of Milan and its vicinity, and of Lugano.
Lit. A. Ottino da Chiesa, Bernardino Luini, Novara, 1956.

Follower of Bernardino LUINI

216
CHRIST ASCENDING (upper part of an Ascension: a lunette)
Wall-painting transferred to canvas
102 x 162 (259 x 411.4)
Inscribed on scrolls held by angels:
VIRI GA[LILAEI] QUID STATIS ASPICIENTES IN [CAELUM] /HIC IESUS QUI [ASSUMPTUS EST A] VOBIS IN CAELUM (Acts I. 11)
359-1898

This and the following two items formed the decoration of a lunette in the Oratory of Santa Maria della Passione, next to San Ambrogio, Milan. Founded in 1473, the Oratory was sold to the Administration of San Ambrogio in 1812 and turned into a cloth factory. In 1869 it passed into private hands and was turned into a wine business, and it was at this time that the main scenes of the wall decoration were detached and bought by Michele Cavaleri. Beltrami (1911) quotes the Gazzetta di Milano, 12 October 1869, listing the following scenes among those removed at that time: the Agony in the Garden, the Flagellation, the Resurrection and Pentecost. When the series reappeared in an English sale room in 1898, it included a Last Supper; lunettes with the Agony in the Garden, Christ mocked, the Ascension and the Virgin enthroned and a fragment of the ceiling decoration with the Holy Lamb and cherubs. The sale contained nine fragments; three were bought by the Museum, one - the Last Supperis in the chapel at Tonbridge School, the whereabouts of the others is unknown.
The decorative scheme is closely related to that in the church of S. Maurizio, Milan, executed by Luini in ca. 1522-24 (Beltrami, 1911, p. 385). Beltrami, having examined the fragments in the Museum and those surviving in the Oratory, concluded that while the decorative scheme was inspired by Luini himself, the execution should be attributed to his followers.

Prov. Oratory of S. Maria della Passione, Milan; 1869 Michele Cavaleri; sale, Foster's, 8 June 1898, lot 6, bought by the Museum for £10 10s.
Lit. G. C. Williamson, Luini, 1899, p. 101; L. Be1trami, Luini, Milano, 1911, pp. 443-50, repr. p. 448.

Materials

Canvas; Plaster; Tempera

Techniques

Fresco

Subjects depicted

Jesus Christ; Angels

Categories

Religion; Christianity; Paintings

Collection code

PDP

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Qr_O122242
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