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The Mission of Joan of Arc (La Mission de Jeanne d'Arc), from The Story of Joan of Arc series
Not on display
Wool, Silk; Tapestry Weave
233.7 x 424.2 cm (92 x 167 in.)
Object Type:
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

Joan kneels in an attitude of ecstasy in her cottage garden. Her distaff lies discarded and her eyes are fixed on a vision above her. She listens to the voice of Saint Michael, a monumental figure in Gothic armor with large pink wings and three concentric haloes. The Archangel holds a sword before Joan with his right hand and points with his left to scenes of violence in the background. Tall hollyhocks fill the left corner. A scroll at their base is inscribed: L’AME DE JEANNE S’EPANOUIT AU MILIEU DE SCENES DE DESOLATION DE LA GUERRE CIVILE (The soul of Joan expands amid desolate scenes of civil war). The inscription in Gothic script in the upper border reads: FILLE AU GRAND COEUR VA. IL LE FAUT (Great-hearted girl, go. It is necessary). The scenes to which Saint Michael points show the violation and massacre of women and children by English soldiers before a row of gibbets. A running border of mistletoe encloses the picture panel. Lillies growing in the garden are allowed to extend into the border here and there; a clump at the right has been slashed and broken, symbolizing the acts of wanton cruelty. The right guard shows the RF for République Française and a large G with the vertical bobbin and thread of Gobelins. Underneath is the date of 1905 – 1907 and the initials of the weavers: E de B (Emile de Brancas), JM, PR. A shield with three fleurs-de-lis occupies the upper left corner. The monogram of the artist, JPL, is diagonally across from it, at lower right. 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. 302.

Contemporaneous Works “Art from the same century and country”

No contemporaneous works available.