The snowfall of 5 August 352 AD
Video in Italian | The "Madonna of the Snow" by Sassetta from the Contini Bonacossi Collection
Think of a miraculous snowfall in mid-August!
This is the subject of the "Madonna of the Snow" by Sassetta, a work that depicts the Virgin enthroned with the Child together with the awkward detail of two angels, one of which is holding a tray full of snow, while the other is modeling a snowball. According to tradition, the extraordinary snowfall of August 352 AD literally outlined the original perimeter of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome commissioned by Pope Liberius.
Originally destined to the Chapel of San Bonifacio in the Cathedral of Siena, this large altarpiece is one of the most significant examples of Renaissance art in Siena.