The haloed Virgin lies propped up in a canopied bed in right middleground, holding a candle and surrounded by the apostles and many other figures; another figure, possibly St John the Evangelist, sits asleep by the fire in the left foreground; a table covered with dishes and jugs fills the centre foreground in front of the bed.
The Death of the Virgin
Engraving; two states known
Signed in the cartouche at lower left, in the margin: Sic Petri Brugelij/ archetypu[m] Philipp./Gall[a]eus imitabatur [Thus Philips Galle reproduced the prototype by Pieter Bruegell]; in the cartouche at lower right, in the margin: Abrah. Ortelius,/ sibi & amicis,/ fieri curabat [On behalf of himself and his friends Abraham Ortelius took care of the production]; dated (first state only) at lower centre, in the margin: 1574; inscribed in the margin: Gnati certa tui Virgo cum regna petebas / Complebant pectus gaudia quanta tuum?/ Quid tibi dulce magis fuerat quam carcere terre/ Migrare optati in templa superna poli?// Cumq[ue] sacram turbam, fueras cui pr[a]esidium tu,/ Linquebas, nata est qu[a]e tibi maestitia/ Quam m[a]estus quoq[ue], quam l[a]etus spectabat eunte[m]/ Te, nati atq[ue] idem grex tuus ille pius?// Quid magis his gratum, quam te regnare, quid [a]eque/ Triste fuit, facie quam caruisse tua?/ M[a]estiti[a]e l[a]etos habitus, vultusque proborum/ Artifici monstrat picta tabella manu? [Virgin, when you sought the secutre realms of your son, what great joys filled your breast? What would have been sweeter for you than to migrate from the prison of the earth of the lofty temples of Christ) whose mentor you had been, what sadness sprang up in you. How sad as well as how joyful was that pious gathering of you and your son as they watched you go? What was a greater joy for them than for you to reign (in heaven), what greater sadness than to miss your appearance? This picture, created by a skilful hand, shows the happy bearing of sadness on the faces of the just]
43.5 cm x 33 cm