17th century Flemish and Dutch paintings
Battle scenes and military subjects
Biblical, mythological and allegorical scenes
Portraits, genre and exterior scenes
Still lifes and animal scenes
Quellinus, Circle of Erasmus II
Caritas, the allegorical personification of charity as a young mother with her children
Oil on copper : 27,8 X 36,1 cm
Frame : 41,3 X 50,0 cm
I am currently documenting this painting
Caritas or Charity stands in Christian theology for altruistic love:
- for Man’s love of God;
- for God’s love of Man that Man shares with other men. Therefore Charity is portrayed by a mother who lovingly looks after her small children, sometimes she is breast-feeding them.
About our painting
The composition of our painting is in fact more complex than meets the eye: it must represent the victory of Charity over Deception and over Jealousy.
At the centre of our painting sits Caritas, represented as a young mother. She is surrounded by five putti-like children:
- the child with a mask at right must represent Deception;
- at left a small putto is playing with a wind spinner; the child at his feet reaching out for it stands for Jealousy.
Click photos for more details