Feb 24, 2012

The Seed Received among the Thorns, from the Parable of the Sower

The Seed Received among the Thorns, from the Parable of the Sower

c. 1573

Black chalk, gray wash, and brown ink, on cream laid paper; traces of transfer

Support: Cream laid paper

Sheet: 19.7 x 25.5 cm (7 3/4 x 10 1/16 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 2012.4


Did you know?

The stage-like format of this drawing recalls enacted "plays of meaning," or moralizing plays, performed in the Netherlands at the time.


This design for a print is from a suite portraying the biblical parable of the sower. The parable compares types of soil to people in the world: one hardened; one fickle; one distracted by things of the world; and one with an open heart, ready to accept God. The third sower (here, a pilgrim) distractedly throws his seeds among thorns. He is surrounded by two female personifications—Cares of the World, and Avarice (extreme greed for money). Behind them, the fourth sower successfully plants his crop. The content and its presentation exemplify the instructive tone of the period’s moral discourse.


The Seed Received Among the Thorns, from the Parable of the Sower
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