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Long scratches through the figures and faces, deep splits, vanished paint layers. That was the fate that befell seven panels illustrating the works of charity in Alkmaar. The damage was very probably done at some time during several iconoclastic waves of destruction in the sixteenth century. Vandals hacked and scraped away at the scenes with a chisel and a knife. It is a miracle that the series survived at all, complete with its original frame. The anonymous painter employed great skill and took great pains over the details, lighting and shadows in his depiction of the seven good deeds that a Christian was expected to perform for the less fortunate. His unusual rendering of perspective and slightly angular figures give the scenes a certain idiosyncratic charm. In this edition of the Rijksmuseum Series author Matthias Ubl tells us more about the so-called Master of Alkmaar, and of course about his masterpiece of 1504, which has survived for over five hundred years.