The Wise and Foolish Virgins

Image credit: Herbert Art Gallery & Museum

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This is a scene from a parable in the Bible. Its moral is 'be spiritually prepared'. Charles Shannon's concern in this painting is as much with lighting effects as with spirituality. He was inspired to paint in these dark blue tones by James Whistler's landscapes showing lights reflected on the water at dusk.

This is the final oil study for a finished version of the work in the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool.

Herbert Art Gallery & Museum



The Wise and Foolish Virgins




oil on canvas


H 58.4 x W 95 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

gift from Mr and Mrs A. E. Nicholls, 1962

Work type



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Normally on display at

Herbert Art Gallery & Museum

Jordan Well, Coventry, West Midlands CV1 5QP England

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