The Ascension with Christ giving the Keys to St Peter

Donatelloca. 1428-1430 (carved) - 1432

The Victoria and Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum
London, United Kingdom

The Ascension with Christ giving the Keys to St Peter, marble carved in low relief, Donatello, Italy (Florence), ca. 1428-30


  • Title: The Ascension with Christ giving the Keys to St Peter
  • Date Created: ca. 1428-1430 (carved) - 1432
  • Type: Relief
  • External Link: http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O93255
  • sculptor: Donatello
  • carved: Florence, Firenze Florence
  • Subjects Depicted: Jerusalem; Jesus Christ; Peter (Saint); Mary (Virgin Mary); apostles; angels; landscape; trees
  • Place Part Of: Firenze Florence
  • More Information: This relief is one of the finest surviving examples of Donatello's work in rilievo schiacciato, literally 'squashed relief', a technique which he developed. It is recorded in the Palazzo Medici in an inventory made after the death of Lorenzo de' Medici il Magnifico in 1492, and in the Palazzo Salviati in Florence in 1591. The circumstances of the commission are not known, but it has been suggested that it may have been carved for the altar of the Brancacci Chapel in the Carmine in Florence, the painted decoration of which omits this important scene, or for the base of the St Peter niche on Orsanmichele, in a similar arrangement to the St George. The wooden frame dates from the fifteenth century and is likely to be that recorded in the inventory of 1492.
  • Materials and Techniques: Carved marble in very low relief
  • Dimensions: Height: 40.9 cm, Width: 114.1 cm, Weight: 60.5 cm

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