Eia ergo advocata nostra
The inscription separating Heaven from Earth determines that this is the third tapestry in the series. We can see the Virgin kneeling before the Trinity, as advocate and Saviour of men and women of all kind, who are represented with clothes of varying richness. The Brussels’ mark appears on the lower left selvage; the weaver’s is on the right one, partly covered by a clumsy restoration.
In contrast to the two previous tapestries, this one shows changes in the representation of Heaven. Mary does appear, but not as the only or main figure, since she is kneeling in front of the Trinity. The angels flanking the group are repeated, though.
The inscription deployed at the feet of the group repeats the third part of the Hail literally: ‘Eia ergo advocata nostra, illos tvos misericordes ocvlos ad nos converte’ (Turn, then, most gracious advocate, your eyes of mercy toward us).
Looking up at Heaven
There are no changes in the lower part of the tapestry as compared to the former ones. Two groups of figures, women and men, placed on right and left, have phylacteries with texts from the Old Testament. For ease of reference, they include the book and chapter where they come from: EXO (Exodus), IRE (1 Kings)... In the centre there are three successive planes with characters of varying statuses, as shown by the quality of their garments, all praying while looking up to Heaven.
A town asking for help
As in the other pieces in the cycle, the landscape adds its own meaning through nature and buildings. In the background we can see a town in fire, with many neighbours coming out to beg the Virgin for help, thus enhancing the Saviour-like nature of the Marian cycle of these four tapestries.
Series The Hail
Third tapestry in the series
Manufacture Brussels’ workshops, a possible manufacture by Marc Crétif, c. 1528
Size 412 x 656 cm
Fabric Silk and wool
Location Cathedral of Palencia
Origin A bequest of Bishop Fonseca in 1529
On display North wing of the crossing