Master of the Rabbula Gospels
The Ascension of Christ

586
Parchment, 13.4 10.6 in. (34 27 cm.)
Biblioteca Medicea-Laurenziana

This is among the earliest examples of an Ascencion image with Christ in a mandorla escorted by angels. He blesses the viewer with his right hand. Mary stands orant at the center, flanked by the apostles, who look up while the angels tell them to get going and spread the word.

Saints Paul and Peter, seen here on the left and right with long beard and square beard respectively, are sometimes seen in later versions. It is not common in later versions, however, for the mandorla to be carried aloft on a chariot. This chariot resembles the one in Ezekiel 1, which was read during the Ascension Day liturgy (Weitzmann, 454).

More of the Ascension

Source: Wikimedia Commons