Etching on laid paper
Plate: 33.8 x 42.7 cm (13 5/16 x 16 13/16 in.)
Gift of The Print Club of Cleveland 2020.99
The artist of this boisterous scene combined a saint’s charitable act with all manner of excessive behaviors that takes place in a contemporary coastal city much like that where the print was made.
During the 16th century, November 11 brought the feast day of Saint Martin in Northern Europe, accompanied by boisterous parties and drinking “St. Martin’s wine.” This print depicts one such feast gone awry, with the sins of gluttony, greed, and sloth on full display among the crowd of beggars and devils who fight for their chance at the wine, or for no apparent reason. In the center of the scene, Saint Martin stands ready to divide his cloak in order to share it with a beggar, the single act of charity in the scene.
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