The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
The Assumption of the Virgin
  • Attributed to Juan Simón Gutiérrez (1643 - 1718)
  • The Assumption of the Virgin
  • Spain
  • c.1665 - c.1718
  • Painting
  • Oil on canvas
  • Image size: 65.1 x 39.8 cm
    Frame size: 87 x 63 x 8 cm
  • P105
  • Reserve Gallery
Further Reading
  • According to the thirteenth-century Golden Legend, the Virgin Mary was borne up to heaven by Angels three days after her death. The book became a popular source for artists, especially during the Counter Reformation. The Virgin was proably in her sixties at the time of her death, but is traditionally depicted as a beautiful young woman ascending into the heavens, while the apostles gather round her empty tomb. Two women are shown gathering roses in a shroud at the tomb, a motif that originated in the work of Rubens (q.v.), and may represent Martha and Mary, symbols of the active and contemplative types and of the body and soul of the Virgin. Indeed Guttiérrez’s composition derives from an engraving by Schelte à Bolswert, itself inspired by two versions of the theme painted by Rubens (The Hague, Mauritshuis; Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum).