Lucas van Leyden 1494 – 1533

The Healing of the Blind of Jericho

oil on panel (116 × 150 cm (center panel)) — 1531 Museum Hermitage, St. Petersburg

Lucas van Leyden biography

This work is linked to Luke 18:40

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When Jesus and the crowd that follows him approach Jericho, they pass a blind beggar. The man asks who is passing. When he is told it is Jesus, he shouts for Jesus to have mercy on him. Jesus asks him what he can do for him. The man asks to be healed. Jesus answers "receive your sight, your faith has saved you".

The miracle is seen as a encouragement to be faithful.

The panel is part of a triptych. On the wings are shield bearers with the coats of arms of the probable commissioners. They were Jacob van Montfoort Florisz, a prominent citizen of Leiden, and his wife Dirckgen Dirck Boelensdr.

Karel van Mander, a 16th century Dutch biographer of painters, thought this to be Lucas van Leyden's best work.

The triptych has a turbulent history. Originally, the images on the outer panels were the outsides of the panels. In the 18th century, they were removed from the panels. The images on the insides were then joined with the central panel, to create one large panel. Where it was needed, the top part of the panel was supplemented. In the 19th century the painting was transferred to a canvas. It was then in the possession of the Russian czars.

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