In the late Middle Ages, the life of Jesus was increasingly embellished by other figures and stories. Part of this is the theme of the holy kinship, represented in the central medallion. It was based on an apocryphal account (unsanctioned by certain canons) of the three marriages of Saint Anne, mother of the Virgin. The central theme is accompanied by the main authorities of the Catholic Church, the Evangelists, and the Church fathers. The monumentality of the design, the dignity and spontaneity of the figures, and the fine execution of the embroidery itself distinguishes this as one of the finest examples of Swiss or South German linen embroidery of the 1500s.
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