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Title The Seven Corporal Acts of Mercy
Collection Fairfax House, York
Artist Attributed to manner of Francken, Frans, II (Flemish painter, 1581-1642)
Date Earliest about 1600
Date Latest about 1640
Description Paintings such as The Seven Corporal Acts of Mercy help us to understand how some Christians have traditionally wanted to practice their faith in particular acts of charity and humanity. Such acts were considered pleasing to God, and showed others that a person's religious faith had an effect in altering the ways they considered the plight of others. Although charitable acts increased in time - particularly during the eighteenth century, as people's perceptions of those who lived in poverty altered - the view that one's state in life was inevitable and almost unchangeable was historically upheld by a rigid class system, which did act as a deterrent to ‘acts of mercy'. Indeed, it was not until the nineteenth century that charitable acts became ‘fashionable' to the point of being institutionalised.
Current Accession Number TC1990/212
Subject religion
Measurements 60 x 90 cm (estimate)
Material oil on panel
Acquisition Details On long-term loan from anonymous owner.
Provenance Presented to Lloyd Hospital Bridlington, in 1911 by an unknown American dentist; bought by private collector, from whom loaned to Fairfax House indefinitely from March 1990.
Notes The Seven Corporal Acts of Mercy are: feeding the hungry; giving drink to the thirsty; entertaining the stranger; clothing the naked; visiting the sick; relieving those in prison; burying the dead.
Rights Owner Fairfax House, York
Author Dr Ruth Stewart




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