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The Arrival of Joan of Arc before Patay (L'Arrivee de Jeanne d'Arc Devant Patay), from The Story of Joan of Arc series
The Arrival of Joan of Arc before Patay (L'Arrivee de Jeanne d'Arc Devant Patay), from The Story of Joan of Arc series
Not on display
Wool, Silk; Tapestry Weave
233.7 x 421.6 cm (92 x 166 in.)
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Accession Number:
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Gift of the French Government

Exhibition History:

Panama Pacific International Exposition, San Francisco, 1915
Museum of the Synodal Palace, Sens, 1922
Palais de la Légion d'Honneur, Paris, 1923
War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco, 1957-1972, 1980 - 1996 or later

Seated on a white horse in a triangle formed by three great tree trunks, Joan urges her men on to battle. A fortified town appears in the distance with vague masses before it, presumably the ranks of the enemy. Joan raises both arms in a gesture of encouragement and, incidentally, of sacrifice. She points to Patay with her right hand and holds a banner inscribed JHESVS in her left. The arms of the Savior on the banner are raised in similar fashion. A ghostly Saint Michael, at the right, extends toward Joan the sword he has drawn from its scabbard. His words in Gothic script appear behind him: ILS SONT TOUS VOTRES (They are all yours). Joan’s words, in rounded Italian script, occupy the lower left corner: EN MON DIEU! IL FAUT COMBATTRE. S’ILS ETAIE[NT] PENDUS AUX NUES NOU[S] LES AURIONS. JE SUIS SURE DE LA VICTOIRE (In God’s name! We must fight. If they were hung from the clouds, we would have them. I am sure of victory). The border is composed of running vines, possibly honeysuckle. The painter’s monogram is in the lower right corner of the picture panel and the shield with fleurs-de-lis in the upper corner. The mark of the République Française and the Gobelins and the date, 1899 – 1901, appear in the lower guard; no weavers’ marks are evident. From Anna Gray Bennett, "Five Centuries of Tapestry: The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco" (San Francisco: Chronicle Books; The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, 1976; repr. 1992): p. 306.