HOLBEIN, Hans the Elder
(b. 1460/65, Augsburg, d. 1524, Isenheim)

Death of the Virgin (detail)

c. 1490
Tempera on oak panel
Szépművészeti Múzeum, Budapest

Christ himself appears in the upper, "celestial" sphere of the picture to receive, with appropriate solemnity, the departing soul of his mother, the small kneeling figure in a long cloak, painted with airy lightness. The garland of clouds signifies reviving heaven itself; its strong, shining colour, some rays of which penetrate through the clouds, is a reflection of heavenly glory. There are also angels on both sides of Christ to stress the importance of the event.