110.5 cm x 142.8 cm (43 1/2 in. x 56 1/4 in.)
(Paris, France, 1600 - 1638, Paris, France)
Medium and Support:
Oil on canvas
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, The Suida-Manning Collection, 2017
Jacques Blanchard represents the personification of Charity as a woman breastfeeding a child and tending to two others around her. According to Cesare Ripa, the three children signify the tripling of Charity’s power when accompanied by Faith and Hope, the other theological virtues. Blanchard makes a creative departure from Ripa’s original text, however, by adding more children to illustrate charity in action: a boy assists a crying girl, and the infant on Charity’s lap reaches compassionately out to her. This scene reinforces a passage in the French edition of "Iconologia" that Charity “usually dwells among innocent and pure souls.”
Regarded as a gifted colorist, he worked for King Louis XIV in Paris. The Blanton's painting is one of the few paintings by the artist in the United States.