Podea with the Root of Jesse, mid 17th cen­tury

3 November 2011

Dimensions: 179.5 x 54.7 cm.

The subject is the Root of Jesse41, in conjunction with ‘The Prophets from on High’. On the edge of the podea, against a green background, Jesse is shown recumbent, with a long beard, and wearing a kind of cap. He supports his head on his right hand, while in his left he holds an unfurled scroll with the prophecy of Isaiah “a branch from the root of Jesse” in abbreviated form. At his feet are the capital letters K§AT§.

The trunk of a tree emerges from his chest, its branches forming whorls in which are depicted the prophets seated, to the right and left of the trunk, and holding scrolls, virtually illegible, with their prophecies of the coming of the Saviour. Six on each side, they hold the symbols of the Theotokos (see the stole, Fig. 376). In the eighth line from the bottom, between the prophets David and Solomon, is the Eternal Father. The figures are arranged in the following order:

                             The Eternal Father

           David                                                           Solomon

           Moses                                                         Aaron

                             The Blessed Virgin

           Amos                                                           Ezekiel

           Jacob                                                            Daniel

           Gideon                                      Isaiah

           Habakkuk                                                Jeremiah


The scene is embroidered in gold thread of green and light brown shades on red satin, which is worn in places – the embroidery is in excellent condition, apart from the letters on the scrolls, which were in black silk and which have come unstitched. The vereriki and kamares stitches predominate. The exposed parts of the bodies, the faces and hands, are rendered in straight riza stitch and grey silk, the hair and beards in black and red silk. The lively expressions on the faces indicates the use of a good pattern, and thus a workshop of quality.