woman with long curly hair wearing a cloth on her head, lying in a canopy bed with curtains, surrounded by men, with a man to her PL learning toward her, holding a long taper candle; two kneeling men in LLC looking in a book; candle on an elaborate stand in LRC

The Death of the Virgin, c. 1473-1474

Not on Viewexpand_more

The Bible says nothing of Mary's death, but legend holds that when Mary was on her death bed, the Apostles, who had scattered throughout the world on their missions, were miraculously transported to gather around her in her final moments. MartinSchongauer presents Mary resting on a large, oppulently draped bed. Though nearing death, she appears youthful. John the Evangelist supports the vigil candle that she has become too weak to hold. In the foreground, two apostles scrutinize a manuscript text. At right, the Apostle Anthony--recognizable from his walking stick--holds a brass bucket of holy water, while another, seemingly Peter, holds the aspergillium to sprinkle water on Mary as a blessing.

In the foreground stands an elaborate candlestick, perhaps of the type produced by Schongauer's goldsmith father, who probably taught young Martin to engrave. Martin went on to become a skilled painter. Combining the design skills of painting and the technical skill of engraving, Schongauer produced some of the finest engravings of the 1400s.

Details
Title
The Death of the Virgin
Artist Life
c. 1440/53–1491
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2021.99
Catalogue Raisonne
Lehrs 34 Hollstein 16 i/iia
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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woman with long curly hair wearing a cloth on her head, lying in a canopy bed with curtains, surrounded by men, with a man to her PL learning toward her, holding a long taper candle; two kneeling men in LLC looking in a book; candle on an elaborate stand in LRC