Museums Home BMAGiC Home Search Browse BMAGiC Help About BMAGiC Contact Us

Etching and Drypoint - The Death of the Virgin

View main imageView larger image
© Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery

There are no additional images for this object.

Basic Information

Accession Number:1927P1612
Collection:Fine Art Prints and Drawings
Date:1639 - 1639

Maker Information

Artist:Rembrandt - View biography for Rembrandt


The account of the death of the Virgin does not appear in the New Testament, only in the apocryphal literature. For this large Baroque composition, Rembrandt has borrowed a number of elements from Dürer's woodcuts of the birth and death of the Virgin, while at the same time memorably drawing together the human and spiritual dimensions of the scene. Light is at its greatest intensity on the dying Virgin and on the angel above, a symbolic device for dissolving the Virgin's human form and suggesting the passage of her spirit. The apostles traditionally witnessed the Virgin's death, joined here by other grieving men and women, a doctor engaged in his duties, and a likely Christ figure on the right who, in the Golden Legend, appeared as 'Mary's soul went forth out of her body and flew upwards in the arms of her Son'.

Bequeathed by James Richardson Holliday, 1927.

Further Information

Production Period:17th century
School/Style:Dutch School
Medium:Etching and drypoint.

Associated People


Height:396 mm
Width:315 mm