|The Harrowing of Hell
Partly on the basis of I Peter 3:18-20 (cached), the Apostles' Creed states that Christ "descended into Hell" before his Resurrection. The Christian belief is that he went to Hell to retrieve the souls of those who had been faithful during time of the Old Law.
Usually the first of these is Adam, his wrist held by Christ, with Eve at his side at the mouth of a Hell whose gates Christ has destroyed.
In the East, the Harrowing of Hell is known as the Anastasis and is the primary way of picturing the Resurrection. Anastasis images feature David and other crowned kings, as well as the prophets (example). In the West, where Resurrection images directly portray Christ's exit from the tomb, the Harrowing of Hell is a secondary subject.
A related theme juxtaposes the crucifixion with a portrayal of the souls in Hell piously awaiting their salvation (example).
At left, a painting from the altarpiece of Caparroso (1507), St. Mary's Cathedral, Pamplona, Spain.
12th-century Spanish relief
Latin American folk art