Anonymous: The Seven Works of Mercy (1580)

(Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

The Works of Mercy are actions which all Christians are expected to perform. Six of these works are from Matthew 25:34-40, the seventh is from the Book of Tobit. The seven works of mercy are:

1.To feed the hungry.
2.To give drink to the thirsty.
3.To clothe the naked.
4.To harbour the harbourless.
5.To visit the sick.
6.To visit the imprisoned
7.To bury the dead.


These works of mercy are a common theme in the arts. This painting from 1580 shows all seven of them. As is usual with these kind of paintings, Christ is also present - he stands between the rich person and the beggar.

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