The Nelson-Atkins
Saints and Sinners
Home/Exhibitions/Saints and Sinners

Saints and Sinners

Saints and sinners have always provided Christians with examples of how they should or should not behave. Whether leading an ascetic life in the service of God or enduring torture and gruesome deaths, saints gave devout Christians models of piety and fidelity.

In contrast, the wickedness of sinners from the Bible reminded them of mankind’s weaknesses and the need to avoid temptation. This selection of works on paper demonstrates how artists developed an extraordinary range of stylistic means to represent the righteous deeds of saints and the disreputable behavior of sinners.

For groups interested in learning more about the artwork on view in this exhibition, please request a European Art Collection tour and request in the notes that the exhibition be included as part of the tour.

Image: Jan de Bisschop, Dutch, 1628–1671, After Domenico Beccafumi, Italian, 1486–1551. (em>Moses and the Children of Israel at Mount Sinai, about 1644–1671. Pen and brown ink wash over traces of charcoal underdrawing on beige laid paper, Purchase: William Rockhill Nelson Trust, 44-29/5.