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‘An Allegory of Man’

This painting’s early history is a mystery. It dates from the 16th century at the earliest, making it a rare surviving religious painting from this era in British history. But though its origins are unclear, its details and religious symbolism are easy to spot. 

The motifs of this classic painting almost stretch beyond the imagination. To the left of the man’s shoulder is a maiden dressed in finery and wielding a bow from which she prepares to fire three arrows toward her target. If you examine this figure more closely, focusing particularly on the arrows, you will see that each is labeled with a sin: “Glotony,” “Slowth,” and “Lechery.”


About the source: Atlas Obscura

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