The central panel that gives this triptych its name bears the date 1531 visible on the entablature of the large window on the right. The risen Christ leans towards His Mother permitting a view, through a window, of a sequence of episodes in a distant landscape. The first of these is the ‘Resurrection’ – the main theme of the narrative – followed by ‘The Descent into Limbo’, ‘The Meeting on the Road to Emmaus’ and the ‘Apparition to Mary Magdalene’. In this work, the elongation of the figures and the delicate individual poses, as well the treatment of the drapery, provide evidence of Garcia Fernandes’ adhesion to the Italian models.
The Archangel Gabriel appears on the interior of the wings in a posture that suggests his descent into a compartment where the Virgin sits reading the prophecy of Isaiah. It is rare in 16th century Portuguese painting for this theme to be divided into two panels framing a central one. The two wings, en grisaille, represent St. Peter’s meeting with Christ: Quo Vadis? – ‘Where are You going my Lord?’ The answer is depicted on the central panel, in the scene where the Saviour appears triumphant beside the grotto of the sepulcher.