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The Parable of the Tribute Money

The Parable of the Tribute Money

c. 1580–1600

Master of the Egmont Albums

(Netherlandish, 1480-1620)

Pen and brown ink, traces of pen and black ink and black chalk, on paper; framing lines in brown ink

Support: Cream(3) laid paper

Sheet: 27.2 x 35.4 cm (10 11/16 x 13 15/16 in.)

Dudley P. Allen Fund 1992.115

Did you know?

The pose of the kneeling man and the decoration of the door surround in this drawing are both based on details in a woodcut made earlier in the century by the German artist Albrecht Dürer.

Description

The New Testament parable of the tribute money addresses the division between worldly and divine power. Here, the artist depicted Christ in the center of a civic square with one hand pointing toward a king wearing a crown and an ermine robe and the other toward God above. Encouraged by Christ’s words to show each authority its due, the crowd shows deference to both the king and God via facial expression, pose, and gesture. Parables were enduringly popular on prints, stained glass, and decorative objects for their relevance to the issues and choices made by everyday citizens.

See also

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