Bartolomé Esteban Murillo - The Assumption of the Virgin
The Immaculate Conception was one of several popular subjects in seventeenth-century Spanish painting. Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, too, treated it repeatedly. Mary was supposed to be depicted in the rays of the sun, standing in a white robe and blue cloak on a moon and crowned with twelve stars. And this is how she appears on a painting by Murillo, now in Budapest. However, in the Hermitage later version the theme of ascension is central. The gaze and gesture of the young Mary are lifted upwards, her fluttering cloak, the angels streaming in the direction of her movement, the darkened lower part of the picture turning to light as the heavens approach, create an illusion of soaring. Hence the other name of the same painting, The Assumption of the Virgin (aka The Ascension).