Tapestry altar frontal with scenes of Christ's Passion
Probably Arras, Southern Netherlands
Museum no. T.1-1921
This magnificent tapestry shows the descent of Christ from the Cross, his entombment, and then his resurrection. This subject matter indicates that it was probably used as an altar frontal in a great church or cathedral. In the entombment scene, the figure at Christ's feet wears a robe whose borders are decorated with pseudo-inscriptions. Islamic silks would have been luxury imports in the 15th-century Netherlands, where this tapestry was made, and the figure's prominent position, almost at the centre of the tapestry, implies the high status environment in which this tapestry was woven and used.