Andrea Mantegna
Death of the Virgin

Mantua, circa 1461
Tempera on panel
Museo del Prado, Madrid

Continuing his fascination with perspective, Mantegna has put a distant seascape into the space where earlier artists had shown Christ carrying Mary's soul aloft. In the lower half of the painting he arrays eleven apostles, several holding objects related to the Office of the Dead: prayer book, censer, oil jar, candles, and liturgical vestments for Peter. St. John on the the far left holds a palm branch, In Germanus' Third Discourse on the Dormition an angel comes to tell Mary that Christ is going to take her to him and gives her a palm branch as a "symbol of her victory against death" (Toal, IV, 421).

Within Christian discourse it is more common to refer to the episode as the "Dormition," that is, the "falling asleep" of Mary.

Read more about the Dormition.

Source: Wikimedia Commons