A blind man accompanied by a young girl sits outside a church. Through the doorway can be seen a crucifix lit by a lamp. An old woman comes out, clutching her prayer book and the old man himself is fingering the beads of a rosary. The subject has echoes of Jacques-Louis David's famous painting of Belisarius, the blind general begging for alms (Salon of 1781, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lille). This picture is the artist's second version of a painting of 1852 which is now in the Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp. It was extremely popular in the 19th century, and much copied after it had entered the Gallery's collection.
The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN