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2. Medieval Austrian and German Painting and Sculpture (12-16th c.)

 
 
Austrian (?) painter

Evagationes Spiritus (The erring of the soul)
1430s
tempera on wood
58 x 46 cm
Inv. 56.495

This painting by an Austrian – or perhaps a Hungarian – painter has an unusual iconography. Originally, the panel was joined with another one that closely correlated to it also in its content. In the other, now lost panel, a praying man was depicted. The red lines that once departed from his figure and continue in this picture represent his erring thoughts. The attention given to clothes, drinking, worldly treasures, and women is shown here as morally reproachable. It is possible that also a third panel was joined to these which showed the correct direction of the praying man’s thoughts and the desirable virtues.
I.K.

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