Dec 19, 2007

The Mystical Grapes

The Mystical Grapes

c. 1500

Wool, silk, silver thread; tapestry weave

Overall: 79 x 75.9 cm (31 1/8 x 29 7/8 in.); Framed: 102.2 x 99.7 cm (40 1/4 x 39 1/4 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1973.77



In this tapestry, the Holy Family appears seated at a table. Flanked by Mary and Joseph, the Christ child squeezes grapes into a chalice, symbolizing the gift of Christ’s blood for the redemption of humankind. Behind, three angels read from an open book. During the late medieval period, intense mystical fervor in Europe focused largely on the blood and Passion of Christ. Small tapestries such as this were used for personal devotions.

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