From the Series 'The Five Wise and Five Foolish Virgins'
The New Testament parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins revolves around a wedding custom in which ten virgins go out to meet a bridegroom. While some have filled their lamps with oil, the others have forgotten, are unable to light their lamps, and are barred from joining in the celebration as a result. The tale was linked with a warning: be always prepared for the coming of the Lord. Schongauer’s series was quite successful and often copied, and the expressive figures moreover frequently served painters as models.