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The Resurrection, from The Redemption of Man series
The Resurrection, from The Redemption of Man series
Not on display
Wool, Silk; Tapestry Weave
431.8 x 787.4 cm (170 x 310 in.)
Object Type:

Cathedral of Toledo, 1890
Ascher Wertheimer, 1902
French & Co., 1914
William Randolph Hearst Collection, 1921

Accession Number:
Acquisition Date:
Credit Line:

Gift of The William Randolph Hearst Foundation

Exhibition History:

Golden Gate International Exposition, Treasure Island, San Francisco, 1939
Hearst Court, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, de Young Museum, various times, 1950s-1980s
Five Centuries of Tapestry, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Legion of Honor, 1976
Pulp Fashion: The Art of Isabelle de Borchgrave, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Legion of Honor, 2011

Scenes of the Resurrection and Ascension brought the story of Christ’s Passion to an end, followed by the epilogue of the Last Judgment. The mood of this eighth tapestry of the series is calm after the battle of the preceding panel. Christ, larger than life, stands on the lid of his tomb in the manner of the mysteries, rather than being airborne as paintings often show him. He wears the costume of the Trinity, but his crown is replaced by an aureole of sun rays. He holds the banner of the Resurrection in one hand and lifts the other to show the wound in his palm. Seven female figures encircle him – not the seven Virtues, but new abstractions. On the left: Beauty (Pulchritudo), half kneeling; Voluptas (Pleasure), with a harp; Fortitude (Fortitudo), holding a staff; and an unnamed companion. To the right: Reasonableness (Sanitas); Long Duration (Diurturnitas), holding a ring; and winged Velocitas (Swiftness). From the sky, two other persons of the Trinity look down, gesturing as they talk. To the left of the central group surrounding Christ, the four soldiers who were left to guard the tomb rush away in terror. The long, curved sword carried by the soldier has the letters NAS REENI, for Nazarenus or Nazarene. To the right of the soldiers, the three Marys return in wonder from the tomb. The Harrowing of Hell takes place near the upper left corner of the tapestry. Jesus, now crowned, is accompanied by Caritas (Charity) and two others, presumably Faith and Hope. From Hell’s mouth, Jesus rescues HOMO, Nature, Abraham, and others. One of the Vices slides beneath the door. Nearby on a promontory the Tempter puts a long serpentine horn to his lips, blaring his defiance. To the right, Christ, as a pilgrim on his way to Paradise, stops by the Fountain of Life to receive the homage of an angel. The two tips of the angel’s wings can be seen emerging from a cloud. Two figures, who may represent Faith and Humility, accompany Christ. Abraham and a host of others follow, including Dismas, the Good Thief, who carries his Tau cross and hurries to join the procession. Just to the right of the two other persons of the Trinity in heaven, the risen Christ appears to Mary Magdalen in a garden. Humility, Esteem (Dilectio), and Hope escort him. Angel musicians play on the roof of the pavilion in which Jesus appears to his mother. A trio sings to the music of harp and viol. Within the mansion, Jesus shows his wounds. Faith, Hope, and Charity stand behind Mary. In the group behind Jesus we recognize Velocitas, Sanitas, Diuturnitas, Pulchritudo, and Fortitudo. A small annex at the right edge contains the scene of the Supper at Emmaus. Humilitas and another Virtue are present as Christ sits at the table with two disciples. The moment of recognition is shown when Jesus breaks the bread and the disciples realize he is the risen Christ. In the left corner of the tapestry, Zecharias says, ECCE REX TUUS VENIT TIBI ZECHAR IX (Behold thy King cometh to thee, Zechariah 9:9). In the opposite corner, Hosea’s prophecy reads, VIVICABIT NOS POST DUOS DIES OZEE (After two days He will revive us Hosea. Hosea 6:3). 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): 72.