The Assumption with the Souls in Purgatory

Fresco
Exterior, St. Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna, Austria

Detail: An angel rescues a woman from Purgatory.
This combination of a traditional Assumption with a scene of the souls in Purgatory is unusual but consistent with the Catholic doctrine that the Assumption of Mary into Heaven is "an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians" (Catechism, ¶ 966. To make this point directly, an angel breaks away from the Assumption scene to reach down and rescue one of the souls.

(I have digitally darkened the non-frescoed areas of the wall to make the painting clearer.)

View the entire wall in full resolution
More of The Assumption

Photographed at the cathedral by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.