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A Christian Allegory of the Salvation of a Christian Soul

Photo credit: The Bowes Museum

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The Christian soul, represented as a naked man, is crowned with a laurel wreath by a winged Victory. A skeleton and a dragon appear defeated at his feet, as symbols of Death and the Devil claiming a fallen soul. They are surrounded by female personifications of the three theological virtues: Faith, holding a cross, Charity with a flaming heart, and Hope, with the Scriptures and an anchor. The use of classical sources within the moral didacticism of the allegory would have appealed to the humanist audience for whom artists such as Maerten van Heemskerck and Frans Floris worked.

The Bowes Museum

Barnard Castle


A Christian Allegory of the Salvation of a Christian Soul


late 16th C


oil on panel


H 90 x W 102.5 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

bequeathed by the Founders, 1885

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The Bowes Museum

Barnard Castle, County Durham DL12 8NP England

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