DUCCIO di Buoninsegna
(b. ca. 1255, Siena, d. 1319, Siena)

Death of the Virgin (panel 6)

Tempera on wood, 40 x 46 cm
Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Siena

This scene is on one of the front crowning panels of the Maestà.

The moving scene of the Death shows a traditional approach drawn from Byzantine models, combined with freshness of composition. A multitude of haloed figures, orderly and dignified, recall the solemn court of heaven in the prospect. Only the apostles in the foreground, Peter and John, are portrayed in more spontaneous attitudes, while Christ holds up the animula, the soul of Mary who has just died.

In their severe,, three-tier arrangement and solemn stance, the Apostles and angels who have gathered around Mary's bed recall the way Duccio depicted the heavenly royal household in the main picture of the Maestà.