Allegories of salvation and vanity

Today I went to Indianapolis to the Art Museum, where there is a free exhibit of 17th century Catholic art from Spain.

I was struck by a few paintings.

Particularly, I was moved by these two paintings which generally travel together, both painted by Juan de Valdés Leal.

The first I want to share is the “Allegory of Salvation”, which looks like this:


The painting is also called the “Allegory of the Crown of Life” and the “Allegory of Repentance.”

The first title comes from James 1:12: “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation; for when he hath been proved, he shall receive a crown of life, which God hath promised to them that love him.”

The second photo, also by Leal, is called the “Allegory of Vanity”:

Plenty of good stuff to see!