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Panel - The Assumption of the Virgin

The Assumption of the Virgin

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    second half 15th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Carved, painted and gilt alabaster

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Dr W. L. Hildburgh FSA

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The Virgin Mary with her hands raised stands in a mandorla which is upheld by four angels. Above God the Father stands flanked by an angel with a lute and another with a harp. St Thomas kneels and received the Virgin's girdle.

Physical description

The Virgin, wearing a fillet on her head and a tight-fitting gown and a cloak, stands in the centre of the panel in a mandorla held by two pairs of kneeling angels, her hands raised upwards and apart in an attitude of prayer. On the left at her feet kneels the bearded figure of St. Thomas looking up at her, hands held together in prayer, receiving the Virgin's belt, which is shown unfastened at the moment of falling, the buckle visible below her waist on the right. The haloed, crowned and bearded figure of God the Father, hands raised apart, is at the top of the panel above a division indicating heaven. He is flanked by an angel on the left playing a lute and an angel on the right playing a small harp.

The head of the angel at the bottom left of the panel is missing. The right hand of the angel at the middle right is also missing. The top half of the panel is cracked. There is a hole through the panel in the bottom left corner.

Green paint (now darkened) and the usual daisy pattern remain on the ground at the bottom of the panel. The upper background of the panel is gilt with the remains of gesso knobs. The mandorla is painted with a zigzag pattern in brown and black with the lines in white. There are traces of gilding on the hair of God the Father, the Virgin and St. Thomas. The fillet on the Vigin's head is a purple colour. The angels' wings are red flecked with white. The halo behind God the Father is red and black edged with white. There is a brown mottling in the unpainted areas of the alabaster.

The back of the panel is marked with a 'V' lying on its side. There appear to be three original holes filled with lead and the remains of latten wires. The bottom is cut away.

Place of Origin

England (made)


second half 15th century (made)



Materials and Techniques

Carved, painted and gilt alabaster

Marks and inscriptions

'V' lying on its side.
On the back of the panel.


Height: 42.2 cm, Width: 24.8 cm

Object history note

Formerly in the collection of F.A Crisp. Later in the possession of P. Nelson from whom it was acquired by Dr W.L. Hildburgh. On loan from him since 1926. Given by Dr Hildburgh in 1946.

Descriptive line

Panel, alabaster, The Assumption of the Virgin, England, second half of 15th century.

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

Cheetham, Francis. English Medieval Alabasters. Oxford: Phaidon-Christie's Limited, 1984. p. 202 (cat. 129), ill. ISBN 0-7148-8014-0
Illustrated catalogue of the exhibition of English Medieval alabaster work, London : Society of Antiquaries, 1913


Alabaster; Paint; Gilt


Carving; Painting; Gilding

Subjects depicted

Crown; Buckle; Belt; Gown; Angel; Halo; Cloak; Lute; Harps (chordophones)


Christianity; Religion; Sculpture


Sculpture Collection

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