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Triumph of Hope

The main theme of the composition of the tapestry the "Triumph of Hope" is the power of sincere religious belief. The allegorical meaning is expressed in the inscription located in the upper part of the border ‒ a technique characteristic of the works of the Gothic era. The couplet in Latin reads:

Irruat horribilis quamquam presentia mortis Тuta tamen Spes est in bonitate Dei.
Although the horrible presence of death may burst in Sure, however, is Hope in goodness of God.

The appearance of death is represented by the turbulent scene of a shipwreck at the top of the tapestry - an allusion to the story of Jonah. Partially obscuring the dying ship, on the left of the boat is the figure of Hope. The birdcage hanging on the mast is the designation of the human soul, languishing in earthly captivity. The bow of the ship is ablaze with fire, from which a phoenix is being revived — a symbol of rebirth, and therefore the hope of salvation. The ship is pulled by two men in short clothes, iron collars, chains and shackles, with a plea they are extending their hands to God the Father. His figure, rising from the clouds in the upper right-hand corner of the tapestry, is the semantic center towards which the movement of the entire composition is directed. The characters of the Old Testament, represented in the foreground and along the edges of tapestry, are turned to him with supplication and expectation and symbolize the "hope for the mercy of God".

In accordance with the iconography of the tapestries of that time, all the biblical characters are depicted in clothes of the beginning of the 16th century. Their names are woven on the clothes, attributes or near the figures. The pattern of kneeling figures along the curved line of the hilly shore, the play of colour accents — all this creates the sense of movement of the procession from the middle of the left edge to the first plan and then to the right to the figure of God the Father emerging from the clouds.

The composition of the "Triumph of Hope" is based on the same principles as the entire series. However, it is markedly different from the rest of the tapestry. One of the differences is the iconography: this tapestry presents only biblical characters (with the exception of the allegorical images of the winds). In other "Triumphs" biblical and antique characters are mixed.

Two later replicas of the "Triumph of Hope" with a similar plot are preserved in the Paris Museum of Cluny and the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh.