The Ascension
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German, Hildesheim, about 1170s
Tempera colors, gold leaf, silver leaf, and ink on parchment
11 1/8 x 7 7/16 in.
MS. 64, FOL. 115V

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In the center of the miniature, Christ ascends into heaven forty days after his Resurrection. Gently floating aloft in a dance-like pose, he looks down tenderly at the Virgin Mary and reaches out his hand in blessing. The apostles stand to either side, their hands raised in gestures of amazement. Directly below Christ, King David points up toward the ascending figure. In the corners, four figures from the Old Testament--Elijah, Ezekiel, Enoch, and Moses--represent stories and prophesies from Jewish scripture that Christian commentators understood as prefiguring Christ's Ascension.