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Object Image

Poor Children are Given Winter Clothes by Spittelberg Parish at Michaelmas

It was not an easy commission for Waldmüller to be awarded from the parish of Spittelberg in the Vienna district of Neubau in 1857. Around fifty adults, most with portrait-like features, and thirty children are assembled in this picture. Paintings of dignitaries are prominently displayed on the wall, the great and the good of the parish congregate below, the children in the foreground. Both groups or social classes have few genuine points of contact (as in real life), a fact that cannot even be disguised by the clergyman in the middle, who has placed his hand on a girl’s head in blessing. The crucifix on the wall makes it unmistakably clear that the parish’s assistance to its poor is godly work ...
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Oil on wood
94.0 x 120.5cm
Image © Belvedere, Vienna, 2023