Glossary

Charity

This is the most important of the three theological virtues. The others are Faith and Hope.

Charity was seen by the medieval church as a means of expressing one's love of God and of one's neighbour.

The personification of Charity has been depicted in a number of different ways. The image of a woman nurturing several children was first developed in Italy in the 14th century; it became the one most commonly used in later art.

Painting
Lucas Cranach the Elder
1537-50
Lucas Cranach the Elder: 'Charity'
Painting
Michele Tosini
probably about 1570
Michele Tosini: 'Charity'
Painting
Anthony van Dyck
about 1627-8
Anthony van Dyck: 'Charity'