Feb 7, 2007
Feb 28, 2012
Feb 28, 2012



c. 1590

Abraham Bloemaert

(Dutch, 1564–1651)

Oil on wood

Framed: 87 x 100 x 10.2 cm (34 1/4 x 39 3/8 x 4 in.); Unframed: 68.6 x 54.5 cm (27 x 21 7/16 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1994.10

Did you know?

Charity is almost always personified as a woman with children.


Abraham Bloemaert drew on traditional depictions of the Virgin and Child for this allegorical image of Charity: a woman surrounded by children, one an infant for whom she has bared her breast. Bloemaert was one of the leading proponents of the Mannerist style in the Northern Netherlands. Characteristics of that style include exaggerated figural proportions, contorted poses, heightened colors, densely packed compositions, and a deliberate eroticism—invoked here to emphasize the magnetic quality of Charity’s serene beauty.

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