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(Italian, 15th century)
Engraving hand-colored with gold
Dudley P. Allen Fund 1924.432.1
Catalogue raisonné: Hind E.I.1a
This engraving is part of the Tarocchi group marked with the letter “E,” and named Conditions of Man. This series outlines the social and hierarchical order of ten characters (Beggar, Servant, Artisan, Merchant, Gentleman, Knight, Doge, King, Emperor, and Pope), starting from the lowest grade of society and ending with the most important one.
Here, Misero (The Beggar) is shown as a full-length male figure, standing in three-quarter profile to the left, and set in an abandoned landscape. Barely covered by a short cloak, the mendicant rests on his staff, whilst two playful dogs keep him company.
Aside from the large, disfiguring collector's stamp in the top right corner, the bottom third of this sheet has been lost and replaced. Then someone carefully drew in the lower portion of the figure with pen and ink, copying the image and even including a false platemark.
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