Born in 's-Hertogenbosch, Abraham van Diepenbeeck was originally a glass painter who later turned to drawing, painting, and designs for tapestries. Depicted here is the Assumption of the Virgin as recounted in the apocrypha of the New Testament. Mary ascends into heaven as the apostles and three women, likely the maidens who tended to Mary's body, witness the event. Some of the earthbound figures watch as the Virgin is lifted heavenward by a team of small angels, while others gaze down at her empty tomb. The composition of this drawing closely resembles an altarpiece of the same subject made by Peter Paul Rubens for the Cathedral of Our Lady in Antwerp in 1626. From Rubens's work, Van Diepenbeeck borrowed the arched format, pose of the Virgin Mary, women holding the shroud over the tomb, and outstretched arm of John the Evangelist.
Inscribed on verso in graphite, "ABRAHAM VAN DIEPENBEECK, 1596-1675".
McCrindle, Joseph F., former owner.