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(Italian, 15th century)
Dudley P. Allen Fund 1924.432.34
Catalogue raisonné: Hind E.I. 34a
This engraving is part of the group marked with the letter “B,” and named Cosmic Principles and the Virtues, which comprises the three Universal principles (Light, Time, and Space) alongside the three theological virtues (Faith, Hope, and Charity) and the four cardinal ones (Prudence, Temperance, Fortitude, and Justice). The latter were regarded as the basic Christian principles required for a virtuous life.
Here personified as a full-length female figure, Temperancia (Temperance) is about to pour the liquid contained in the pitcher she is holding with her left hand into another vessel held in her right hand. Next to her, on the left corner, is an ermine or a weasel, looking at his own reflection in a small round mirror.
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