West Façade, St. Peter's Cathedral: Detail, The Dormition

Regensburg, Austria

This is the bottom register of the tympanum. Above it is the Assumption, and above that is the Coronation of Mary. In the left half St. John prepares to lift the body of Mary. The moment pictured appears to be when "the apostles took the body honourably and laid it on the bier" (Golden Legend #119). It is not the ceremony of the last rites that is seen in many other images of the Dormition.

On the right the twelve apostles carry Mary's body to what they think will be her resting place, led by a single figure who holds his hands in prayer at the far right. The latter could be St. Paul, who the legends say was present with the others.

View this image in full resolution.
View the entire tympanum
Read more about the Dormition

Photographed at the cathedral by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.