Former Classification: Textiles - Tapestry

The Ship of Virtues, c. 1528–40

Unknown artist, expand_more
Not on Viewexpand_more

A crew of six women and four men was not your typical naval crew in the early 1500s. But the ship you see here is no ordinary ship: it is a metaphor for life. Guiding it safely to shore and pushing away the demons lurking in the water are personifications of virtues: Hope, Mercy, Perseverance, Divine Comfort, Loyal Heart, Faith, Charity, Patience, Good Will, and Prudence. These virtuous shipmates are presented here as the essential qualities a person needs to navigate the tough waters of daily life, avoid temptations to sin, and safely reach the shores of peaceful eternity.

The Ship of Virtues
H.156.25 x W.156 in.
Accession Number
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

Does something look wrong with this image? Let us know

Zoom in on the left to the detail you'd like to save. Click 'Save detail' and wait until the image updates. Right click the image to 'save image as' or copy link, or click the image to open in a new tab.

Former Classification: Textiles - Tapestry