Jul 25, 2006

The Death of the Virgin

The Death of the Virgin


Martin Schongauer

(German, c.1450–1491)


Sheet: 25.5 x 16.9 cm (10 1/16 x 6 5/8 in.)

The Fanny Tewksbury King Collection 1956.744

Catalogue raisonné: Lehrs V.106.16

State: II/III


Did you know?

The attentive rendering of the candlestick at the foot of Mary's bed testifies to Schongauer's familiarity with metalworking.


According to the apocryphal Gospel by Pseudo-Matthew, the apostles were present at the Virgin Mary's death. Here, the apostles all gather around Mary's deathbed, as Christ's mother—shown as a young woman due to her immaculate state—is about to draw her last breath. Saint John supports the lighted candle that the Virgin can not longer hold by herself. Other apostles perform the last rites for Mary and look at her with sorrow and concern. This print belongs to a set of four engravings considered to be an incomplete series of episodes of the Life of the Virgin, which also includes The Nativity (1939.448), The Adoration of the Magi (1942.1070), and The Flight into Egypt (1954.260).

See also
PR - Engraving
Type of artwork: 

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