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The painting starts from Christ's parable in the gospel of Saint Matthew XV:14, "If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch". Christ seems to be referring to a pair of blind people, which is not easily documented: pairs including the blind usually consist of a sighted child leading a blind parent. However, blind people travelling in a group of several people with linked hands are represented as a typical aspect of life on the road in both western art and in Japanese woodcuts.
oil on canvas
H 95.5 x W 151 cm
purchased by Henry S. Wellcome, c.1900–1936