Skip to main content
The Death of the Virgin
After Hugo van der Goes
/

This small painting shows Christ coming down from heaven to receive the soul of his mother, who lies close to death. He floats above her accompanied by angels, two of whom hold a white cloth in which to carry the Virgin’s soul to heaven.

The grieving apostles are administering the last rites to the Virgin. Saint John places a long, lit candle into her hands. Attached to it is a small disc with a cross: the Host (consecrated bread) which was offered to the dying. A saint who is probably Peter, dressed in white as a priest, prepares to scatter holy water over her.

Technical analysis shows a different plan: a large curtained bed instead of the view of the town. This earlier version seems to be based on a design Hugo van der Goes made when planning his famous Death of the Virgin (Groeningemuseum, Bruges).

Key facts
Artist After Hugo van der Goes
Artist dates active 1467; died 1482
Full title The Death of the Virgin
Date made probably after 1500
Medium and support Oil on oak
Dimensions 38.7 x 35.6 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1860
Inventory number NG658
Location in Gallery Not on display
Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download an 800px wide, 72dpi copy of this image.

License this image

License and download a high resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Yes, I'd like to donate
Or
Download low resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo