The Ascension of Christ

Circa 1300
Church of San Francesco, Assisi, Italy

The Ascension of Christ into Heaven is recounted in Acts 1:1-11. In this image he is seen in profile, a vestige of the old iconography in which he strode up a mountain to Heaven. In similar images we often see the Father's hand reaching down as Christ reaches up, but here the Divine Trinity is represented by three concentric circles.

The lower half of the image presents the action in verses 10-11: "And while they were beholding him going up to heaven, behold two men stood by them in white garments. Who also said: Ye men of Galilee, why stand you looking up to heaven? This Jesus who is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come, as you have seen him going into heaven."

Though the fresco is damaged, the angel on the right and the halo of the one on the left are still extant. These would be the text's "two men…in white garments." Also partly extant are the feet and heads of six apostles on the right "looking up to heaven."

Read more about images of the Ascension.

Source: Wikimedia Commons