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Bequest of Hélène Irwin Fagan
Five Centuries of Tapestry, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Legion of Honor, 1976
Gallery Rotation, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Legion of Honor, 1992
Gallery Rotation, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Legion of Honor, 10/88 - 2/01
An architectural frame encloses the small room in which Nero, wearing his imperial crown and sitting on a canopied bed, is confronted by the apparition. Peter and Paul stand before him and raise their hands in greeting; they are monumentally calm and larger than life. Paul carried the two-edged sword that was the instrument of his martyrdom, and Peter carries his key. Two attendants kneel at Nero’s bedside. A banderole above Saint Peter’s head is inscribed, C[A]ESAR NOS REGIS [A]ETERNI INVICTI MILITES SUM[US] NU[UN]C CREDE VEL’[UT] TIBI [A]ETERNU[S] RESTAT I ITE[M] UT N[O]S (Ceasar, we are soldiers of the eternal, invincible king. Now accept it as a fact that just as he withstands you forever, so in like manner do we.) Saint Paul’s foot, boldly foreshortened, extends into the border as does that of the attendant. A horizontal band carries symbols resembling card suits, the meaning of which, if any, is not known. 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): 78.