$396

NATHAN THE WISE
White alabaster sculpture raised on a square base. Together with a black-veined rose and white alabaster bust of a maiden. The first with repair to one left index finger.
The centerpiece of the work is the Ring Parable (German: Ringparabel), narrated by Nathan when asked by Saladin which religion is true: An heirloom ring with the magical ability to render its owner pleasing in the eyes of God and mankind had been passed from father to the son he loved most. When it came to a father of three sons whom he loved equally, he promised it (in "pious weakness") to each of them. Looking for a way to keep his promise, he had two replicas made, which were indistinguishable from the original, and gave on his deathbed a ring to each of them.
The brothers quarreled over who owned the real ring. A wise judge admonished them that it was impossible to tell at that time

that it even could not be discounted that all three rings were replicas, the original one having been lost at some point in the past; that to find out whether one of them had the real ring it was up to them to live in such a way that their ring's powers could prove true, to live a life that is pleasant in the eyes of God and mankind rather than expecting the ring's miraculous powers to do so. Nathan compares this to religion, saying that each of us lives by the religion we have learned from those we respect.
15.5" Height
4" Wide

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