My friend the artist Wim van Willegen was asked to design an object incorporating the original six Corporal Works of Mercy as teached by Christ. ‘The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats’ (Matthew 25:31-46) enumerates such acts as the reason for the salvation of the saved. Today there is a seventh work of mercy (‘bury the dead’) added from the Book of Tobit by Pope Innocentius III (1198-1216) in the year 1207.
The artist used the engraved six works of mercy to clad the iconic shape of a house.
1. Feed the hungry
2. Give drink to the thirsty
3. Clothe the naked
4. Shelter the homeless
5. Visit the sick
6. Visit the imprisoned
The house of course represents the home of the Lord. It casts a shadow that is longer than the house itself. The artist chose to maintain the shadow of the house in his final design. All was made of wood. The house was made of Cocobolo (Dalberga retusa) and the shadow was carved from steamed Pear (Pyrus Communis). Thus the shadow remains a lighter shade than the house itself.
Five exact copies of the wooden sculpture were made in commission for the Foundation of Protestant Welfare Work in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. To be given to a select group of people who in their life have excelled in merciful acts. HOUSE OF MERCY by Wim van Willegen