[MR] Wikipedia: Pieter Aertsen Mean Stall Painting

Garth Groff and Sally Sanford mallardlodge1000 at gmail.com
Wed Nov 14 02:19:03 PST 2018

Noble Friends,

Today Wikipedia's featured image is Pieter Aertsen's famous canvas "A Meat
Stall with the Holy Family Giving Alms", painted in 1551:

The strikingly realistic painting shows a variety of butchered animals and
animal products, providing a very interesting study of what people ate in
the 16th century Low Countries, and in general throughout Europe at that
time. This is combined with a distant genre scene showing the Holy Family
giving alms during their flight into Egypt. Interesting combination, making
the whole painting an allegory.

The painting is particularly interesting for the various pots, jugs,
pretzels and other details of period life. I am intrigued by several
details in the upper left corner: the symbols IIXII, "n + b" above that
appears to be a falcon bell, and the two cryptic hands. They are not
explained in the Wikipedia article, though the sign at the upper right in
Flemish is (an advert for a land sale).

Also of interest is Aertsen's painting "Market Scene", showing less
disturbing fruits and vegetables, as well as their vendors and some people
in the background who appear to be engaged in amorous activities and
getting bombed. Another allegory, no doubt, but what detail:

A brief bio of Aertsen and more of his paintings can be seen at
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pieter_Aertsen .

Yours Aye,

Mungo Napier, Laird of Mallard Lodge  🦆

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