Scenes from the Life of an Unidentified Bishop Saint

about 1560, Pieter Aertsen

On loan from a private collection, © Private collection 2000. Used by permission
Three scenes are included in the picture, in each of which the bishop is shown doing good works. In the foreground he gives money to a beggar, in the background on the left he heals a blind man. In the corresponding feast scene on the right, he prepares to wash a poor man, perhaps the same man who appears in the foreground.

It has been suggested that the bishop might be Saint Albinus, Bishop of Angers from 529, who was a patron saint of the blind. The picture was probably painted as a single devotional work, rather than as part of an altarpiece, and dates from about 1560, when Aertsen had moved from Antwerp to Amsterdam.

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