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Assumption of the Virgin
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Assumption of the Virgin


Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640)

Oil on panel

Width: 34.6 cm ( panel ); Height: 48.7 cm ( panel ); Depth: 5.5 cm ( frame ); Width: 49.7 cm ( frame ); Height: 62.8 cm ( frame );

Acquisition (source, method, date)
Seilern, Antoine (Count); bequest; 1978

About this work
Rubens created this sketch in preparation for a monumental altarpiece commissioned by the Carthusian church in Brussels.

This was his last and greatest interpretation of the Virgin’s Assumption, a favoured theme. Here Rubens depicts the moment when the Apostles gather at the Virgin’s empty tomb and witness her triumphant rise to heaven, as related by the apocryphal books of the Bible and Jacopo da Voragine’s Golden Legend (13th century). Unusually, Mary is wearing white, rather than the more traditional blue. (Permanent collection label)

Copyright: © The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London

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