The Beggars (Eulenspiegel)

Lucas van Leyden Netherlandish

Not on view

This image of a traveling family, their baskets loaded with small children, is based on a popular satirical book entitled Ship of Fools, by Sebastian Brandt (1494). The couple are beggars who pretend to be pilgrims and borrow children to look more needy. The father wears the signs of a pilgrim, a pilgrim’s hat sporting with a cockle shell and an awl. The owl on the shoulder of the small boy symbolizes sin and idleness, while the bagpipes signals folly.

Here, Lucas etched the entrireentire image and thenbefore went retracing theover the figural group with engraving with large amounts of engraving. The engraved lines bind and set the group apart from the background, adding further dimension.

The Beggars (Eulenspiegel), Lucas van Leyden (Netherlandish, Leiden ca. 1494–1533 Leiden), Etching and engraving

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.