Sheet: 41.2 x 28.2 cm (16 1/4 x 11 1/8 in.); Mat Size: 56 x 40.7 cm (22 1/16 x 16 in.)
Dudley P. Allen Fund 1926.261
Catalogue raisonné: Hind V(II).19.9a
This subject, also known as the Harrowing of Hell,
recounts Christ’s descent into limbo, the first circle
of hell, to liberate the souls of Old Testament saints. The church taught that those who lived and died
in an era without the Christian sacraments were
relegated to a lower place until Christ could come
redeem them. Here Christ, holding the banner of the Resurrection, enters through a doorway. Broken
from its hinges, the door has fallen to the ground
over which Christ triumphantly walks. A group of
figures await their redemption, including Adam
and Eve to the right. Above, a group of demons
emerge from the cavern, sounding trumpets to
announce Christ’s arrival.
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