Beggar with a Wooden Leg, 1630

Not on Viewexpand_more

Beggars were a common sight on Dutch streets, so much so that Amsterdam passed an antibeggary law in 1613. The measure targeted vagabonds, idlers, the lame, and those pretending to be lame-like the subject of Beggar with a Wooden Leg, whose foot is visible behind his bound knee. Such rogues would be shipped to the workhouse to be reformed. While other artists depicted beggars as objects of derision or censure, Rembrandt chose to humanize them, attracted by the heroism of their decay and ruin.

Details
Title
Beggar with a Wooden Leg
Artist Life
1606–1669
Role
Artist
Accession Number
P.1,301
Catalogue Raisonne
Hind 12 iii/iii; B.179; Mg.116 iii/iii; Holl. 179 ii/ii Basan
Curator Approved

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