Begging Monk at the Door of a Mosquedetails

[Picture: Begging Monk at the Door of a Mosque]
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Begging Monk at the Door of a Mosque

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(From the original painting by J. L. Gérôme.)

The standing monk gets our attention first, with his wicker alms basket hanging from his right arm, his right hand holding his cane. He wears only a rather skimpy loin-cloth fastened with a string, from which string also dangles a pouch perhaps for a pen or a small knife against his bare thigh. He is bare-headed and of course barefoot. I don’t know why the writers of the book describe the man as having a disagreeable appearance.

The shoes left outside indicate the oriental custom referred to in the New Testament, “Take thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.” The worshipers in the mosque are on “holy ground.” As regards the monk and his scant attire and unwholesome look, we would remark, as an Englishman said of a similar object, he is a very disagreeable party.”

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Added by Erky on Thu Nov 29 15:20:21 2018

This picture reminds me of another...Diogenes, and the philosophy of Cynicism, does it not?

Added by slave on Thu Nov 29 22:17:51 2018

Well, Diogenes the Synic was entirely naked i think, but i admit i thought of him too. Some say he went naked and others only that he was barefoot and scantily clad. For sure the minimalist part is similar; i don’t know whether the almost-naked philosopher here has similar behaviours and houghts, though!
Thank you for commenting.
Liam

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