'The Ascension with Christ giving the keys to St Peter' is one of Donatello's masterpieces carved in marble. The finest surviving example of Donatello's highly-skilled 'rilievo schiacciato' (squashed relief) technique, the carving is extremely shallow, meaning its intricacies can be difficult to see under standard museum lighting. This interactive viewer approximates how the carving might have originally been seen – in varying light levels at different times of the day.
Click on the image below and slowly move your pointer around the carving to change the direction of the light and reveal fascinating details, as shadows play across the marble surface. Zoom in and out to view different areas in fine detail. Can you find the tiny city of Jerusalem, or a charming cherub disappearing into a cloud?
View in full screen for best effect.
In this video, Peta Motture, Lead Curator of Donatello: Sculpting the Renaissance, further reveals the mysteries of The Ascension: