Death of the Virgin

Vittore Carpaccio

Venice, c. 1460/65 – 1525/26


Oil on panel, cm 242 x 147

There is no record of the events or the patron that brought this work by one of the greatest Venetian painters of the time, then at the height of his fame, to Ferrara. The depiction of the Madonna stretched on the funeral bed surrounded by the apostles, and of Christ in glory gathering up her soul, resembles the traditional iconography of the Dormition of Mary. However, Carpaccio reproduces the same innovative views of buildings sloping towards the background that can be seen in the mosaic designed by Andrea del Castagno for Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice (1442-43).