MASTER of Alkmaar
(active c. 1500-1515)

The Seven Works of Mercy

Oil on panel, 101 x 54 cm (outer panels). 101 x 56 cm (others)
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

In the centre of the seven panels the act of burying the dead is represented, Christ being depicted in the sky on the Last Day. The other six panels represent the acts of mercy (charity): tending the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick, and the prisoner. Christ appears among the needy in all scenes.

It is assumed that this painting was made for the Holy Ghost Hospital in Alkmaar. It was severely vandalised during the Iconoclasm, in some areas the paint was scraped off. Some areas of damage are left visible after the restoration in the 1970s.