Patience (Patientia)

Pieter van der Heyden, Flemish, c. 1530 - after 1572. After a drawing by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Netherlandish (active Antwerp and Brussels), first documented 1550, died 1569. Published by Hieronymus Cock, Netherlandish, c. 1510 - 1570.

Made in Antwerp, Netherlands (historical name, 15th-16th century), Europe



Sheet: 13 1/8 x 16 15/16 inches (33.3 x 43.1 cm)

Curatorial Department:
Prints, Drawings, and Photographs

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
The Muriel and Philip Berman Gift, acquired from the John S. Phillips bequest of 1876 to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, with funds contributed by Muriel and Philip Berman, gifts (by exchange) of Lisa Norris Elkins, Bryant W. Langston, Samuel S. White 3rd and Vera White, with additional funds contributed by John Howard McFadden, Jr., Thomas Skelton Harrison, and the Philip H. and A.S.W. Rosenbach Foundation, 1985

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In a surreal landscape replete with hellish creatures, a female personification of Patience chained to a block prays in the foreground. The Christian message of perseverance in the face of tribulation is apparent, yet several motifs depict Catholic clergy in a negative light, reflecting the widespread religious turmoil in the Netherlands in the wake of the Reformation. In the hollow tree at the right, near the top of the trunk, the monk consorting with a prostitute is just one of many sinful vignettes contained within the blasted tree, itself a contradiction of the usual Christian associations of a leafy tree with the renewal of life.