Sunday, December 19, 2010

O Radix Jesse

Jan Mostaert (c.1475 - c.1555)
The Tree of Jesse
Oil on panel
89 x 59 cm
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

At the top of the tree, the very crown, is the Virgin Mary with her child on her lap and surrounded by angels

The detail shows the prophet Isaiah. He is pointing out a passage from Scripture: Isaiah 11, verse 1 :

'And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots'.

Or perhaps it is Isaiah 11:10:

"In that day the root of Jesse, who standeth for an ensign of the people, him the Gentiles shall beseech, and his sepulchre shall be glorious"

Mary was from the tribe of Jesse

O Radix Jesse, qui stas in signum populorum,
super quem continebunt reges os suum,
quem Gentes deprecabuntur:
veni ad liberandum nos, jam noli tardare.

O Root of Jesse, standing as a sign among the peoples;
before you kings will shut their mouths,
to you the nations will make their prayer:
Come and deliver us, and delay no longer

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