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Plate Five, from Five Wise and Five Foolish Virgins

A work made of engraving on paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of engraving on paper.




Jan Saenredam
Dutch, 1565-1607

About this artwork

Jan Saenredam was a Netherlandish engraver, draftsman, and mapmaker. This engraving series illustrates a parable from the book of Matthew (25:1–13). Plate four (1972.790) shows a bridegroom emerging from a doorway marked with a Christological sculpture of a lamb. He admits five wise virgins carrying full oil lamps into his wedding feast, a metaphor for heaven. Five foolish virgins, who have wasted their oil in frivolous pursuits, beg the wise virgins to lend them oil so that they may also enter. Plate five reveals that these foolish virgins have been barred from the feast because, when they left to replenish their lamps, they returned too late.


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Prints and Drawings


Jan Saenredam


Plate Five, from Five Wise and Five Foolish Virgins




Engraving on paper


265 × 368 mm (sheet, trimmed to platemark)

Credit Line

William McCallin McKee Memorial Endowment

Reference Number


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