Art that comforts

Vatican Museums: The Works of Mercy #10

"Proclaiming Christ means showing that believing in Him and following Him is not only true and right, but also beautiful. At the heart of the Gospel lies the beauty of God's saving love, manifested in Jesus Christ who died and rose again." Inspired by these words of Pope Francis, the Vatican Museums and Vatican News have teamed up again to explore the masterpieces in the papal collections accompanied by the words of the Popes.

Flemish production, Brussels, workshop of Pieter van Aelst (d. Brussels 1532); design from the school of Raphael Sanzio (Urbino 1483 - Rome 1520), The Resurrection, tapestry, 1525 – 1531, © Musei Vaticani

The tapestry is one of a series which is among the most precious in the Vatican Museums collection, the one called “New School” or “The Life of Christ”. It was created in Brussels in the Workshop of Pieter Van Aelst between 1524 and 1531, following designs from the students of Raphael. The New School was probably created to be displayed during the papal consistories during the Christmas and Easter Seasons. The tapestry—which is one of the largest housed in the Pontifical Galleries—employs an optical illusion to make it seem that the eyes of Christ and the sepulcher stone follow the observer from right to left.

© Musei Vaticani
© Musei Vaticani

“Christ, the Lord, is truly risen. We too, Brothers and Children, will also arise! May the voice tremble which proclaims similar superlative prophecies! May faith not tremble, if with a pure and sincere heart we have ‘done Easter’, that is, if we have been nourished on the Body and Blood of Christ, which He has offered us in the Eucharist, for those who have eaten of it, He proclaims: ‘I will raise up on the last day.’ The Resurrection of Christ is herein reflected: today in hope, tomorrow in a metaphorical reality.”

(Pope St. Paul VI – Urbi et Orbi – 18 April 1976)

Under the direction of Paolo Ondarza
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04 April 2021, 09:00