Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Twelve Days of Christmas - Day 11

Title: Appearence While the Apostles are at Table
Artist: Duccio di Buoninsegna
Medium: Tempera on wood
Size: 39.5 x 51.5 cm
Date: 1311
Location: Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Siena.

On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me, eleven pipers piping...

The eleven pipers are representative of the eleven faithful disciples. Duccio di Buoninsegna's The Appearance While the Apostles are at Table alludes to the story in Luke 24, where Jesus appears before the disciples and, to dispel all their doubts, eats with them. The detail of the fish painted on the plates repeats the gospel text to the letter: 'While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence.'

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