Allegory of Virtue and Riches

The bird represents virtue and true love (as do the embracing putti on the bas-relief), which the woman is attempting to outweigh with the piled-up jewels. She grieves, as does the sculpted cupid in the left background, because her virtue has been sacrificed for riches.

A painting which is dated 1676, and shows a woman releasing a bird from a box (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam), may well have been painted as a companion to this picture.

Key facts

Artist dates
1643 - 1706
Full title
Allegory of Virtue and Riches
Date made
about 1667
Medium and support
Oil on copper
17.1 x 13.1 cm
Acquisition credit
Bequeathed by Richard Simmons, 1847
Inventory number
Location in Gallery