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The Art of Poverty is the first book in English to analyze depictions of beggars in 16th-century European art. Featuring works from Germany, the Low Countries, Britain, France, and Italy, it discusses a diverse body of imagery from crude woodcuts to monumental church altarpieces. It argues that these works largely conformed to two paradoxical, though mutually supportive, representational approaches. The book tracks the emergence of a trenchantly negative approach in Northern art, in which beggars are shown as vagabonds, alongside the other predominant visual mode, where beggars are exalted as examples of sacred purity. The Art of Poverty's progressive approach and cross-disciplinary theme makes it vital reading for those concerned with the development of early modern European culture.