Abstract

This essay addresses the significance of the Assumption of the Virgin fresco in the Baptistery of Siena and the existence of an adjacent tunnel that connects the Baptistery to the Cathedral above. The traditional celebration of the Assumption of the Virgin in Siena is described; previously unpublished documents stating that a play of the Assumption was performed add new details to the picture. Other contemporary Sienese religious dramas, some little-known to modern scholars, are discussed to illustrate what the play of the Assumption could have entailed. It is proposed that the tunnel, or trapdoor, was used to conceal ropes that raised an effigy of the Assunta during the feast-day Mass.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1935-0236
Print ISSN
0034-4338
Pages
pp. 435-463
Launched on MUSE
2008-03-27
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Archived 2009
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