Bay 106 - Moses / John the Baptist / Creation and the Fall / St Nicholas /
the Parable of Dives and Lazarus

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Panel D3 - The old man whose three daughters were saved from prostitution by St Nicholas

Description:
This is an unusual choice of scene from one of the best known of the legends of St Nicholas. An old nobleman who has fallen on hard times, is unable to provide dowries for his three daughters and in despair plans to sell them into prostitution. Nicholas, learning of this and not wanting the old man to put his soul in jeopardy throws three bags of gold through the poor man's window on successive nights, to pay for the three dowries.

In the Golden Legend version of the story, on the third night, after St Nicholas throws the gold through his window, the old father runs after St Nicholas and tries to kiss his feet. Nicholas draws away and stops him, before swearing the old man to secrecy concerning his acts of charity. Here, instead of the more normal scene of Nicholas throwing the money through the window, the artist has shown the saint recoiling from the grateful father.