The Annunciation of the Virgin's Death, c. 1635-1640
Paulus (called Orlando) Bor
oil on canvas
203.2 x 157.5 cm
National Gallery of Canada (no. 41279)
Paulus Bor was a member of a wealthy and distinguished Catholic family of textile merchants from Amersfoort, near Utrecht. While residing in Rome in 1623-25, he came under the influence of Caravaggio and was one of the founders of a society of Netherlandish artists based in the Eternal City, known as the "Bentvueghels" ("Birds of a Feather"). The subject of an angel telling the Virgin she is at the end of her life is rarely represented, and derives not from the Gospels but from the "Golden Legend" of Jacobus de Voragine, as retold from an ancient aprocryphal source attributed to St. John the Evangelist.