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Alms-giving: a woman with pearl headdress and halo hands bread to two male beggars

Alms-giving: a woman with pearl headdress and halo hands bread to two male beggars


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Alms-giving: a woman with pearl headdress and halo hands bread to two male beggars

Alms-giving: a woman with pearl headdress and halo hands bread to two male beggars, one bearded and the other a child, a portal showing a maidservant in a domestic interior beyond, from the series Christian Virtues after Maerten de Vos, 1589

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Media ID 20573443

© Heritage Art/Heritage Images

Alms Alms Giving Beggar Beggars Begging Bread Charity Coin Coinage Currency De Vos De Vos Maerten Doorway Father Fatherhood Giving Halo Maerten Maerten De Vos Mannerism Mannerist Martin De Martin De Vos Purse Raphael Raphael Sadeler Sadeler Sadeler Raphael Virtue Vos Martin De Wealth Christian Virtues Netherlandish


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EDITORS COMMENTS
In this print titled "Alms-giving" we are transported back to the 16th century, immersing ourselves in a scene of profound compassion and generosity. The image showcases a woman adorned with a pearl headdress and halo, symbolizing her virtuous nature. With grace and humility, she extends bread to two male beggars standing before her. The contrast between the woman's opulent attire and the destitution of the beggars creates a powerful visual narrative about wealth disparity during that era. Through her act of alms-giving, she exemplifies Christian virtues by embodying charity, kindness, and empathy towards those less fortunate. Beyond the portal lies an intimate domestic interior where a maidservant is glimpsed, perhaps emphasizing how acts of giving extend beyond grand gestures into everyday life. This engraving by Raphael Sadeler masterfully captures not only the physical details but also the emotional depth within each character's expression. The composition beautifully portrays themes of poverty, religion, family dynamics, and societal responsibility. It serves as a poignant reminder that even in times long past, these issues were prevalent and required attention. As we contemplate this artwork from Heritage Images' collection at The Met Museum today, it prompts us to reflect on our own capacity for compassion in an ever-changing world.

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