The Wise and Foolish Virgins
Jacopo Tintoretto (Venice 1518 - Venice 1594)
Art / Oil paintings
Oil on canvas
824 x 995 x 23 mm
Place of origin
VeniceOrder this image
Upton House, Warwickshire (Accredited Museum)
Oil painting on canvas, The Wise and Foolish Virgins by Jacopo Tintoretto (1518-1594), circa 1546. The bridegroom, attended by five wise virgins, leans from a balcony above a hall or courtyard and addresses the five foolish virgins who appeal for admission from below; to their left is a kitchen and in the background a double colonnade, surmounted by arms with a palle, where three figures are visible; above, two rooms open from the balcony, a ballroom in the centre with dancing couples, and left, a dining room where a servant is laying a table; two musicians stand at the extreme right of the balcony. Pentimenti in paved floor. Normally, the unusual iconography of this scene (Matthew XXV.11) is made explicit where a foolish virgin carries a banderole on which is written, ‘Signore, Signore, apretici’, and a wise virgin carries another inscribed ‘In verita vidicho io non vi conochio’.
Robert Napier of Shandon sale, Christie’s, 13 April 1877, lot 394, as by Veronese: bought by Cox; anonymous sale, Sotheby’s, 18 May 1938, lot 74: bought by Buttery, from whom acquired by Lord Bearsted; given with Upton House to the National Trust by Walter Samuel, 2nd Viscount Bearsted (1882 – 1948), in 1948, shortly before his death
Makers and roles
Jacopo Tintoretto (Venice 1518 - Venice 1594), artist
Echols 1996 R.Echols, ‘Tintoretto, ‘Christ at the Sea of Galilee and the Unknown later career of Lambert Sustris’, Venezia Cinquecento, IV, n.12, 1996, pp.111-13, 120, 124, 131-2, 134, 148 (n.101) & fig.5.