The Distribution of Alms and Death of Ananias fresco by Masaccio

According to the narrative in Acts 4:32;5:1-11, each Christian, after selling their own possessions, would bring the proceeds to the apostles, who distributed to everyone according to need. Only Ananias "kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles' feet." Severely reprimanded by Peter, he fell to the ground and died. The composition concentrates on the moment in which Ananias lies on the ground, whilst the woman with child receives alms from Peter, accompanied by John. The compositional structure is quite tight and emotional, involving the viewer in the heart of the event.



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