Walter S. Gibson-Pieter Bruegel and the Art of Laughter (Ahmanson-Murphy Fine Arts Books)-University of California Press (200..

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to honor the memory of
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who for halfa century
contributions to this book provided by the Samuel H.Kress
Foundation andby the Art Endowment Fund ofthe
University ofCalifornia Press Foundation, which is supported
by a major gift from the Ahmanson Foundation.
University ofCalifornia Press
University ofCalifornia Press, Ltd.
© 2006 by The Regents ofthe University ofCalifornia
Library ofCongress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Gibson,Walter S.
Strip yourselves “rst ofaªectation;
For it contains no foul infection,
List ofIllustrations/ix
Deciphering Bruegel/1
The Commodity ofLaughter in the Sixteenth Century/14
Bruegels Art ofLaughter/28
A Bankrupt and His Bruegels/67
Rustic Revels/77
Making Good Cheer/106
captions.More approximate dates are given
Washington, D.C., National Gallery ofArt,
Rosenwald Collection.Photo: National Gallery
ofArt, Washington, D.C.36
15.Hans Weiditz,
,hand-colored woodcut.
Gotha, Stiftung Schloss Friedenstein, Schlossmuseum.38
16.Attributed to Jan Verbeeck,
24.Jan Sanders van Hemessen,
Mocking ofChrist
Pinakothek.Photo: Bayerische Staatsgemäldesamm-
lungen, Munich.49
25.Jan Sanders van Hemessen,
Hartford, Conn., Wadsworth Atheneum Museum
ofArt, The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin
Sumner Collection Fund.50
26.Jan van Amstel,
Bar-Room Brawl
.Berlin, Staatliche
Photo: Jörg P.Anders.© Bildarchiv Preussischer
Kulturbesitz / Art Resource, NY.51
27.Quentin Massys,
Ill-Matched Lovers
D.C., National Gallery ofArt, Ailsa Mellon Bruce
Fund, 1971.Photo: National Gallery ofArt, Wash-
ington, D.C.52
28.Follower ofQuentin Massys,
Gemäldegalerie.Photo: Jörg P.Anders.© Bildarchiv
Preussischer Kulturbesitz / Art Resource, N.Y.53
29.Jan Massys,
Peasants in a Tavern
, 1564.Vienna,
Kunsthistorisches Museum.Photo: Kunsthistorisches
Museum, Vienna.54
30.Jan Havicksz.Steen,
, ca.1665.
Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts.Photo © IRPA-
KIK Brussels.58
52.Jacob Grimmer,
View ofthe Schelde near Antwerp
, 1587.
Kunsten.Photo © IRPA-KIK Brussels.91
Times ofDay:Evening
, before 1599, engraving.Amster-
dam, Rijksmuseum.Photo © Rijksmuseum-
Stichting, Amsterdam.116
65.Gerard David,
Paris, Musée
du Louvre.Photo © Réunion des Musées
Nationaux / Art Resource, N.Y.118
Augsburg.Leipzig, Universitätsbibliothek der
Universität Leipzig.Photo: Universitätsbibliothek
der Universität Leipzig.134
77.Barthel Beham,
Old Woman Thrashing a Devil
, ca.1532,
woodcut.Gotha, Stiftung Schloss Friedenstein,
78.Jacob Binck,
Old Woman Clubbing the Devil
engraving.Vienna, Albertina.Photo: Albertina,
79.Daniel Hopfer,
Three Old Women Thrashing the Devil
In the fourth chapter ofmy book
cussed laughter in the general context ofrecreation and its role in the
Filipczak.I also thank the two readers ofthe manuscript, John Oliver
Stewarts superb knowledge ofpeasant imagery in sixteenth-century Ger-
man prints was particularly helpful.Many colleagues generously responded
well-informed studies remain indispensable to any Bruegel scholar, as well
as Nadine Orenstein, Charity Cannnon
Philips Salman, Yoko
Mori, Eduard Buijsen, E.P.Kwaadgras,
Elaine Block,and
mantle.They have my warmest thanks, as do Eddy de Jongh, who secured
an important article for me, and Johan Verberckmoes and Lyckle de Vries,
who sent oªprints oftheir articles that proved highly relevant.
rial in his collection.As so often in the past, I have been assisted by Ger-
brand Kotting and the staª ofthe Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische
Babin, Liza Abramova, Vladimir Matveyev, Alexander Wied, Ron Spronk,
William Robinson, Meg Grasselli, and Jennifer Jones.My “nal thanks
go to Fronia W.Simpson, who edited the text with her usual care and in-
telligence.They also go to Stephanie Fay, Fine Arts Editor at the Univer-
sity ofCalifornia Press, whose counsel early on enabled me to shape this
book, and who was extremely helpful at every stage ofits preparation.
Pownal, Vermont
But do you faithfully believe that Homer,
the allegories squeezed out ofhim by Plutarch,
Heraclides, Ponticus, and Phornutus, and which Politian
afterwards stole from them in his turn? Ifyou do, you are
not within a hands or a foots length ofmy opinion.
In his
cealed, moreover, so that they were accessible only to the more astute
Labors ofthe Months
series (Fig.3), brings to mind Apelles ability to
paint lightning and thunder.
As it happens, this modern misreading ofPliny on Timanthes has a
precedent in Karel van Manders
Lives ofthe Artists
.Van Mander was fa-
miliar with Plinys description ofTimanthes
Charles de Tolnay, in his monograph on Bruegels paintings, published
in 1935, soon after Pophams article of1931, reprinted Orteliuss epitaph
astically embraced by many later scholars, chie”y, I believe, because it al-
Indeed, Fry saw Jan van Eyck as merely a reporter, capable of
that even Bruegels
Labors ofthe Months
devoid ofesoteric content) was inspired by the allegorical landscapes de-
scribed in Niclaess
(Land ofPeace), a forerunner ofPaul Bun-
Pilgrims Progress
Since Stein-Schneider believes that Niclaes revived
the medieval Catharist heresy„an accomplishment, incidentally, that has
apparently escaped the notice ofscholars ofthe Reformation
„he tri-
umphantly concludes that Bruegel was a peintre hérétique,Ž whose works
were accessible only to Niclaess neo-Catharist circle.
more thoughtful examples ofsuch all-encompassing readings, including
doned by Christ, as an allegory ofmisused generosity (in this case the
bride personifying Generosity herself), and as an image ofthe Last Judg-
cal fantasies in the isolation ofhis studio.The positive results that at-
tempts to decipher his imagery have yielded lie precisely in the valuable
been active in the Violieren.
In 1561, several years before Bruegel
moved to Brussels, the Violieren played host to a great
“gure ofa peasant in a befouled shirt occupied with a peasant woman.Ž
This embellishment ofVredeman de Vriess presumably elegant wall
painting with rutting peasants caused much laughter, and Molckeman was
Van Man-
treatment ofit in the context ofthe humor that evoked laughter in his
time.In his overtly moralizing images, Bruegel employed laughter to con-
vey his meaning more eªectively„I shall examine his brilliantly conceived
more closely, but some ofhis other works seem to have been designed
to amuse the viewer, much like the literary productions ofthe Flemish
.Chapter 1 explores the commodity oflaughter in the sixteenth
with special attention to his remarkable ability to depict the human phys-
iognomy, a gift that culminates in his three paintings offestive peasants
In memory ofHilde Junkermann, who knew,
How much people ofthe sixteenth century laughed, in what manner, and
at what: on these topics there is very little agreement.The Dutch scholar
Hessel Miedema once insisted that persons ofre“nement and erudition
in this period seldom laughed at all, but, to quote Miedema, contented
themselves by smiling with the mouth closed.The harder someone
laughed, the closer he was to the object ofthat laughter: the aggressive
scoªer, the doltish peasant.Ž
This was the opinion, for example, ofthe early church father John
who traced the dreadful consequences oflaughter: it leads
Writing much later, in the twelfth century, the German nun
and visionary Hildegard ofBingen expressed a similar idea when she de-
scribed the faculty oflaughter as one ofthe unfortunate results oforig-
The English writer Richard Rolle, however, was able to speak ofgood
laughter, calling it mirth in the love ofGod,Ž which exists only in the
and a compatriot, the mystic Margery Kempe, found cause
for laughter in the trials she suªered for Christ.
Similarly, in Bruegels
century, Queen Marguerite ofNavarre, sister ofFrancis I ofFrance,
wrote ofthe divine mirthŽ that rose within her
an attribute ofthe followers ofthe evangelical faith that sustained them
even in the face oftorture and death.
Nevertheless, majority opinion
In like fashion, wid-
ows were advised by several Italian writers to avoid hearty laughter and
For his part, Erasmus insisted that loud laughter
...are unbecom-
...And the person who opens
us burst, so that no matter what we do we are unable to repress it„this I
will leave to Democritus [the laughing philosopher ofantiquity] to tell,
who would be unable to do so, even ifhe should promise as much.Ž
Bibbiena does discuss the various types ofhumor that evoke laughter.
These range from witty remarks and anecdotes to practical jokes.
example ofthe latter, he tells how on one occasion two “ne ladies, having
was really a polished dancing master, tried to converse with him as a near
social equal.This took place in the presence ofother members ofthe court,
who were in on the deception and, in Castigliones words, everyones sides
Signi“cantly, Castiglione apparently did not con-
demn this hearty laughter as a breach ofpolite manners.
The Book ofthe Courtier
tury in various translations, including French, English, and German.An
Italian edition was in the library ofCardinal Granvelle, one ofBruegels
, restores the spirit, gives pleasure, and for the moment keeps one
from remembering those vexing troubles ofwhich our life is full.Ž
lectual.The pathologicalŽ strain ofmelancholy, however„what is now
super”uity ofblack bile that made the body excessively cold (or hot)
and dry; its victims tended to be fearful, incapable ofpositive thought
or action.Both types ofmelancholia, especially the pathological sort,
Depastoor van Kalenberg
, a collection ofGerman origin “rst
tal display ofthe buttocks and genitalia, apparently without condemn-
Similarly, the stories in the
are occasionally bawdy,
and many show no qualities we might call socially redeeming.What kind
ofstories are they? The
of1554 prefaced its anecdotes
with the assertion that they included all social ranks and professions of
a promise amply realized in the succeeding pages.We en-
counter a throng ofknaves and swindlers, court jesters, prostitutes,
ers, and various ancient rulers, including Vespasian, Titus, and Charle-
magne.We also read tales ofmurder almost as suspenseful as modern
sonŽ ofsuch
peasants„husbands and wives, wives and their lovers, and the like„in
comic situations.One ofthese was the so-called
probably written for the Violieren chamber ofAntwerp at the beginning
ofthe sixteenth century.
It seems to have enjoyed considerable popu-
larity in Bruegels time, for its performance was often included in depic-
tions ofvillage kermises.A good example can be seen in a painting by
the husband encounters a poultry seller who informs him ofthe decep-
the evening on a stage erected in front ofthe city hall.In attendance was
a German observer, Dr.Franz Kram, who later described the plays in fair
very much edi“ed, ifonly because they were asked to seal their oaths with
contemporaries spared neither eªort nor expense to make sure that they
had appropriate opportunities for laughter.
the commodity of laughter27
The ridiculous may be de“ned as a mistake or deformity
not productive ofpain or harm to others; the mask,
icking devils are hardly more threatening than the bogey men and fan-
tasiesŽ that swarmed around Aeneas in Erasmuss description ofthe un-
In fact, they are hardly more serious than what we “nd in one
ofBoschs own likely visual sources, the fantastic creatures that had long
disported themselves in the margins ofmedieval manuscripts.It is fre-
quently asserted, and I think correctly, that such decorative embellish-
ments were added chie”y for the amusement ofreaders.
I am encouraged in these speculations by a book ofwoodcuts pub-
lished in Paris in 1565 that contains a whole army ofBoschian monsters„
no fewer than 120 ofthem (Figs.10…12).The title page (Fig.10) informs
Songes drolatiques de Pantagruel
Pantagruel, intended for the recreation ofwitty minds.Ž In his preface
Attributed to Jan de Cock,
Vision ofTundale.
New York, Sothebys,
11 January 1990, lot 37.
he oªers them simply as objects oflaughter, as an antidote for melan-
choly, and as a pastime for the young.
Indeed, in their incongruous
conjunctions ofhuman and animal parts with everyday objects made
by men, these “gures recall the kind ofart described by Horace in his
Jan Mandijn,
Temptation ofSt.Anthony.
saw them as meaningless.Daniele de Barbaro, for example, in his Italian
translation ofVitruvius published in 1556, characterized grotesques as the
dream fantasies that represent confusedly the images ofthings.Ž
his part, Rabelais speaks ofgrotesques as devices
invented for the purpose ofmirth.Ž
Early in the next century, Randle
bruegels art of laughter31
Les Songes drolatiques de Pantagruel,
tiques de Pantagruel,
Paris: Richard
tiques de Pantagruel,
Paris: Richard
Cotgrave de“ned grotesques as pictures wherein
...odde things are rep-
Not only the grotesque but incongruity in general, it should be
added, was often adduced as a major source oflaughter by various Re-
naissance writers, Joubert among them,
the incongruity ofthe rutting peasants in Vredeman de Vriess mural of
such hearty laughter.
identify several other prints after Bruegel, the
Pacience drolerie
in earlier centuries had the sense ofthe demonic or evil, by
Bruegels time it had acquired strong overtones ofthe humorous.
In the
case ofBruegels droll sins,Ž it is surely the humor that dominates, as it
did, for example, for Giorgio Vasari, who described Bruegels
seriesasshowing demons ofvarious forms, which was a fantastic and
Ž18For Dominicus Lamp-
, a collection ofartists por-
34bruegels art of laughter
traits published by Hieronymus Cocks widow in 1572, Bosch was essen-
tially serious in meaning, but Bruegels evocations ofBosch were cer-
tainly worthy oflaughter.Ž
A generation later, Karel van Mander would
tell us that it was because ofBruegels many spectres and burlesques
Ž in the style ofHieronymus Bosch that he was known
to his pain and to the coins trickling away through a bunghole.In
(again at lower right), one hooded devil nonchalantly slices oª his
with a large carving knife.The viewer will “nd similarly absurd
until man is good for nothing,Ž while Pride is hated by God above all,
pro“t and pleasureŽ), as Van Mander would later put it,
.Preachers had long em-
ployed exempla, or little exemplary stories, some ofthem comic, not only
Indeed, Boc-
caccio could justify the often ribald tales in his
that since the sermons our good friars preach nowadays
...are full of
propriate in my stories, written as they were to relieve women ofmelan-
Some people, however, took a dimmer view ofthis custom.One
form us, the grossly distended paunch ofher partner testi“es to his glut-
tony.Weiditzs woodcut probably pokes fun at the peasants and warns
against drunkenness and gluttony, but as Alison Stewart observes about
primarily to evoke laughter.
In a similar manner, the curious wedding feasts painted in tempera
on linen produced by the Verbeeck family at Mechelen during the mid…
38bruegels art of laughter
Hans Weiditz,
coloredwoodcut.Gotha, Stiftung Schloss Friedenstein,
sixteenth century most likely had a moralizing signi“cance (Fig.16).They
Attributed to Jan Verbeeck,
its ribald, teasing humor,Ž
and for its wealth ofdiverting illustrations.
Among them are the title page depicting a boatload ofcarefree fools em-
barking for Narragonia, the land offools, and the woodcut showing a fool
stituted an important source ofwit in this period, both in the written
and spoken word and in art.Several scholars have suggested that the pub-
lished collections ofvernacular proverbs so popular in Bruegels day were
meant as much for amusement as for moral re”ection on their often wry
vantage,Ž is personi“ed by the bespectacled old man, Elck, that is, Every-
course, alludes to the famous Know thyself.Ž
The didactic lessonof
is thus conveyed through a witty manipulation ofproverbial material that
The same can be said for Bruegels
Frans Hogenberg proclaimed on the print that most likely inspired
Bruegel, but it is also an antic vision ofa universal madhouse, whose
This penchant for verbal wit is also evident in Bruegels
20), a drawing done about 1558 and certainly one ofhis funniest inven-
tions.Here we are confronted with a dilapidated makeshift laboratory
In Bruegels drawing, the utter futility ofthis endeavor is in-
eye for human physiognomy, especially apparent in the old wife with her
witless grin and the face ofthe fool screwed up with exertion as he pumps
frantically with the bellows (see Fig.21).
This aspect ofBruegels art is
frequently overlooked.It is true that his faces, especially ofsecondary
Christ Carrying the Cross
of1564 (Fig.22), often appear as ifthey had been
formed with the same cookie cutter, with eyes and mouths resembling
raisins pressed into dough.It may have been such “gures that led Otto
Benesch, for example, to describe Bruegels faces as masks and to claim
that the artist understands humanity as an anonymous mass, subservient
assert that Bruegel lacked the talent to render a smile or the psychologi-
cal content ofa gaze.Ž
But these observations hardly do justice to Bruegels
remarkable ability to depict the human countenance in its various ex-
46bruegels art of laughter
pressions.This was, in fact, a very important part ofhis art oflaughter
Several centuries after Bruegel, Joshua Reynolds would insist that an
artist should never express the human passions, all ofwhich produce dis-
tortion and deformity, more or less, in the most beautiful faces.Ž
my impression that until the sixteenth century, the prevailing subject mat-
perhaps, too, by the profound pious meditations that generations ofwrit-
ers had developed around the Virgins death.
Indeed, the expression ofemotions in the visual arts, except sadness
Judgment ofSolomon.
whose “rst edition appeared in 1523, and Johannes Indagines
, “rst published in Latin in 1522, and in a number oflater translations.
Jan Sanders van Hemessen,
Mocking ofChrist,
1544.Munich, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Alte
to a rising interest in the human face both as an index ofcharacter and
as a locus ofemotional expression, particularly in response to a particu-
lar situation.In the dedication ofhis
Traité du ris
Navarre, Joubert, for instance, awarded primacy over the human body to
the face, because it makes manifest and put[s] into evidence all the pas-
thy,Ž since, as he explained, man is a social and civil animal.
As it happens, artists were slow to explore the possibilities ofanimated
human faces oªered by the secular lowlifeŽ subjects that were then com-
ing into fashion.In many tavern interiors and rustic celebrations before
we often encounter in history paintings ofthe period.Van Hemessens
(Fig.25), for example, is often called a Merry Company,Ž al-
though there is actually not very much merry about it.The middle-aged
50bruegels art of laughter
Jan Sanders van Hemessen,
Conn., Wadsworth Atheneum Museum ofArt, The Ella Gallup Sumner and
Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund.
man at the table receives the attentions ofthe young women with the
same gravity with which they bestow them.And this from an artist who
could endow the torturers ofChrist with faces contorted in animal fe-
rocity (see Fig.24).A similar physiognomical restraint pervades the
tavern interiors ofthe artist variously known as Jan van Amstel and the
Brunswick Monogrammist (Fig.26); his lively, well-posed “gures
show that he had looked long and intelligently at the art ofRaphael and
Jan van Amstel,
Bar-Room Brawl.
in either bust- or half-length, thus allowing the artist to concentrate on
the heads.An outstanding and probably early example is the
(Fig.27), done about 1520…25 by Quentin Massys, one ofthe most
gifted painters ofthe human countenance before Bruegel.
suitable pairing ofage and youth for lust or money was a popular artis-
with greater humor.In Massyss painting, the feelings ofthe three bust-
length players„the leering old man, the smiling courtesan who has ex-
greedy anticipation„are deftly but vividly portrayed in their faces.
Equally funny is a painting, perhaps a copy ofa lost work by Massys
52bruegels art of laughter
.Quentin Massys,
Ill-Matched Lovers.
Washington, D.C., National
Gallery ofArt, Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fund, 1971.
ofhuman passion was articulated much later, in the early eighteenth cen-
tury, by the Dutch writer Arnold Houbraken, when he said, it is the mark
oftrue comedy that one knows how to depict and imitate everything
equally naturally, both sadness and joy, composure and rage„in a word
impulses ofthe spirit.Ž
century Latin grammarian Donatus, for example, cites Cicero as his au-
thority when he tells us that comedy is an imitation oflife, a mirror of
However this may be, Houbraken oªers us an
insight into the popularity ofsuch paintings.
Steen and many other artists, among them Jan Miense Molenaer, Adri-
aen Brouwer, and Adriaen van Ostade, painted humorous scenes ofpeas-
ant brawls, smoke-“lled tavern interiors, and the like.Why did people
buy such subjects? The answer often given is that these images showed
viewers precisely the sort ofundesirable behavior they should avoid,
Jan Havicksz.Steen,
and was repeated by St.Jerome, the Venerable Bede, and scores ofwrit-
ers thereafter.
Both Coluccio Salutati and Jacob Landsberger insisted
In any case, it is ofmuch higher quality than several other paint-
, or little heads,Ž
series, moreover, may have been connected with Bruegel even earlier.A
Leiden death inventory of1588 lists various peasant
in prints which are
to relate to any ofBruegels extant works, and ifany ofthem actually go
back to drawings from his hand is a matter ofdispute.
gestures and, especially in his later work, often with considerably more
by Bruegel for its portrayal ofhuman emotion, particularly the griefof
a family begging one ofthe brutal soldiers to spare their child.
Mander most likely had in mind some version ofthat subject by Bruegel,
ofwhich the panel at Hampton Court, although damaged and dis“gured
diminutive scale, the villagers in this picture amply con“rm Van Man-
ders judgment: they wring their hands and cry in despair or cluster around
the royal herald in a futile plea for mercy.Among the crowd that streams
after Christ in Bruegels
Christ Carrying the Cross
of1564 (Fig.35), we en-
counter a whole gallery offaces expressing emotions ranging from sim-
ple curiosity to abject fear, the latter emotion vividly shown in the faces
bruegels art of laughter61
ofthe two thieves (see Fig.22), and, in case ofthe wife ofSimon of
service (Fig.36).Such “gures are in marked contrast to the group of
the holy women and St.John at lower right, who evoke the digni“ed
crew.One ofthe older kings, standing at the extreme left, submits his
gift with an air ofnose-lifted disdain; the soldier standing just behind
the Virgin stares in pop-eyed wonder, awed perhaps not so much by the
holy Infant as by the gifts he receives; while a bystander whispers urgently
into Josephs ear.Whatever motivated Bruegel to produce such an un-
orthodox version ofa popular subject,
vastly amused by these comic “gures and Bruegels astonishing ability to
Vienna (see Figs.42, 43).Unfortunately, scholars have mined these pic-
All is nought without money.
that Noirots wife would have taken much comfort in the fact that the
two inventories made for the sale ofher household eªects constitute a
precious record ofwhat must have been a major picture collection in
sixteenth-century Antwerp.Noirot owned about “fty paintings.This in
itselfwas not unusual: in a survey of291 estate inventories made in Ant-
ventories with more than thirty paintings, the largest containing sixty.
But although the estate inventories seldom identify the artists for the
works listed, Noirots includes the artists names for a fair number ofhis
pictures.He owned works by the leading Flemish painters ofthe day,
August 1569, only three years before this auction, so these were very likely
genuine pictures from his own hand and not copies ofthe sort peddled
by illegal art dealers, the subject ofa city ordinance issued a few years
Moreover, one ofthe inventories ofNoirots household eªects was
taken in the presence ofhis wife and several close associates, who presum-
And although we cannot with any certainty identify the
Wedding Dance
scenes are recorded, among which are three peasant dances,Ž three peas-
ant kermises,Ž and “ve peasant weddings.Ž
One ofthese pictures, a
peasant wedding on linen,Ž was in the collection ofJoris Veselaer,
Noirots colleague at the mint,
but even so, Noirots taste for peasant
approached by asking this question: why did he hang three ofhis Bruegel
peasant scenes in his dining room?
Plantin published.Members ofthis scholarly circle, sharing a philosophy
oflife, aimed to achieve serenity through reason and self-restraint,Žas
Sullivan says, partly paraphrasing Ortelius, by devoting themselves to
work, friendship, studying the whole ofthe Universe, and meditating
on its Creator.Ž
Their profound knowledge ofclassical literature, and
the literature oftheir own time that it inspired, Sullivan tells us, would
have led them to respond to Bruegels rustic revels as allegories ofhu-
Ortelius, not as tributes to Bruegels realism and depiction ofhuman ex-
pression, but as a clear statement that Bruegels friends and associates
assumed there was a great deal ofmeaning inherent in the works [ofthe
That precise meaningŽ for Sullivan can be conveyed by a few
examples from her reading ofthe
(Fig.42).The male dancer en-
large shoes, would have recalled not only the appearance ofcontem-
porary peasants but also certain classical proverbs and quotations from
Lucian and Horace that use the large shoeŽ to signify the man who lives
beyond his means; Bruegels male peasant also resembles the blustering,
.The peasants black
coat, the apparently contorted position ofhis legs, and the pro“le view
a bankrupt and his bruegels71
his friends would have appreciated Bruegels rustic revels as commentaries
on the shortcomings oftheir own countrymen.
Sullivan gives us a valuable account ofAntwerps intelligentsia during
into Egypt
house.The most expensive picture, probably a
„the artist
Peasant Wedding
Peasant Kermis
at 42 guilders.The wording ofthese
since oil is not speci“ed, the medium was most probably a water-based
tempera, traditionally a cheaper medium.The majority ofthe peasant
against the theologians ofthe University ofLouvain.
Jonghelinck and
knowledge ofGreek and Roman literature that Sullivan ascribes, and
probably correctly, to the circle ofscholars around Plantin and Ortelius.
As men ofthe world, Bruegels known patrons were undoubtedly less con-
cerned with the sort ofphilosophic life associated by Sullivan with Or-
telius and his humanist circle than with the luxurious display oftheir
wealth and social standing, in which the artists paintings would have
Thus it is the attitudes ofthis latter group
toward the peasants and toward country life in general that we must now
76a bankrupt and his bruegels
Nothing divides burgher and peasant other than the [city] wall.
How would Jean Noirot, Niclaes Jonghelinck, Cardinal Granvelle, and
their peers have responded to Bruegels peasant revels? Did they view them
as visual sermons, as it were, on human folly? We cannot exclude such a
possibility, since the peasants had traditionally been mocked in literature
plot ofmany a
to Aert Molckemans mural was equally uncouth, as we have seen.
and violence; as a speaker in Erasmuss
says ofan upcoming
kermis: Tomorrow this entire village will ring with carousings, dances,
The citizens ofAntwerp, however, had long encountered peasants and
We know
that the city folk made excursions into the surrounding countryside on
published at Antwerp in 1577 shows the appropriate dress for a Mulier
Antwerpiana extra muros prodeambulansŽ(lady ofAntwerp walking out-
side the walls ofthe city).
Once in the country, city people strolled, re-
freshed themselves with beer at the country inns„the tax on beer was
lower there than in the city„and attended village festivals.
he subdivided into smaller but still sizable plots for country estates.Pur-
chasers ofthese plots had to maintain the rural character ofthe area, for
example, by planting a row oftrees along the road before their houses.
Niclaes Jonghelinck purchased one plot here for his suburban villa, which
he called the Jonghelinckshof.
chiefresidence in Brussels, he not only owned La Fontaine, an imposing
edi“ce with towers and a moat in the nearby village ofSint-Joost-ten-
Node, but also built a mansion at Cantecroix in the vicinity ofAntwerp.
hofvan plaisance
(pleasure houseŽ or pleasure gardenŽ) and
ily, were especially zealous in acquiring seigneuries and the titles that came
with them.The eldest, Gaspar, elevated in 1564 to treasurer general of
ken will be crowded with lovers and ladies ofeasy virtue, and that in May
But in spite ofHobokens rather dubious
seigneury ofBerchem.
The manor ofHoboken had originally be-
longed to William ofNassau (later known as William the Silent), but
along with Rumpst, Willebroeck, and several other manors, was purchased
kens territories by acquiring adjacent properties; among them was the
It is true that Gouberville
resided permanently on his land,
Jacob Grimmer and Gillis Mostaert,
Castle with a Country Festi-
1583.Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum.
It is in this friendly but digni“ed fashion, one suspects, that
inhabitants ofcity and country mingled, it is not surprising that fash-
ionably dressed urbanites appear in many Flemish paintings ofrustic fes-
tivities produced during the second halfofthe sixteenth century.Already
Joachim Beuckelaer,
ionably dressed couples promenade through a village kermis.In the left
been identi“ed as possibly a view ofHoboken,
resent any village ofBruegels day, perhaps Ste.-Anneken, which lay in
Peasant Wedding Feast,
Country Festival,
1583.Present location
century (but most likely re”ecting opinions long current) explains that
all the actions that one does in playing ofthe lute are handsome; the
Jacob Grimmer,
View ofthe Schelde near Antwerp,
companying woodcut (Fig.54) a fool puªs on a bagpipe, spurning the
on a bagpipe and its equally humble companion the hurdy-gurdy; the
Latin inscription below informs us merely that Music entertains and
Fool Playing the Bagpipes,
, Basel, 1497.Williamstown,
Mass., Williams College, Chapin Library ofRare Books.
for his boorish brother, explaining that so must the wise pass their time
Toward the end ofthe play, Bot Verstant tells us that those present
are his nieces and nephews,Ž presumably members ofhis re“ned audi-
ence who did not disdain the music ofthe lowly bagpipe.
strikingly evident in Lucas van Valckenborchs
55), in which a company ofladies and gentlemen attend a peasant fes-
tival.They have been joined in conversation by some peasants; one of
the gentlemen holds a bagpipe, perhaps proªered by the countryman
who puts a hand familiarly on his shoulder (Fig.56).In the foreground
a peasant clasps the hand ofa well-dressed lady.Gentlemen may dally
with country lasses, as we have seen in earlier tapestries and in Aert-
94rustic revels
Lucas van Valckenborch,
Peasant Festival
of1550 (see Fig.48), but amorous encounters be-
tween countrymen and urban ladies are exceedingly rare.One example
tic lad woos a lovely city girl: he boasts ofhis “ne new attire, including
a jerkin ofthe latest cut,Ž and vows to hack his rival to pieces ifhe pays
too much attention to the young lady.
It is doubtful that such loutish
courtship takes place in Valckenborchs painting; most likely the peas-
Brabant and Flanders but the region ofLiège, Namur, and Hainault, to
In the seventeenth century a version ofthis picture was owned by
was included by Tilman Susato in his
Third Book ofMusic
In the case ofAntwerp, as Ramakers has convincingly suggested, Orte-
In any case, Van Mander insists that Bruegel knew how to attire these
men and women peasants very characteristically in Kempish or other
(Kempen, or Kempelandt,Ž as it is spelled on at least one
sixteenth-century map, was a large region extending from northeastern
Flanders through much ofBrabant.)
ler has noted, Bruegels peasants display a much greater speci“city ofde-
tail in their costumes than are usually seen in the rustic scenes ofAert-
This is not to say, ofcourse, that
conventions and compositions he had encountered in the art ofhis pred-
ecessors.For the most part, however, he rejected their stereotypes, par-
example, in Jan Massyss
Peasants in a Tavern
(see Fig.29).
Bruegels eªects are entirely more subtle.He also endows his peasants
with a monumentality and vivacity that make the rustic celebrants of
as the codpiece sported by Panurge in Rabelaiss
Gargantua and Pantagruel
rustic revels99
ridiculed in his description ofthe one made for the young Gargantua,
ornamented with embroidery, goldwork, and precious stones, an item of
haberdashery that, the author assures us, was well furnished within...
having no resemblance to the fraudulent codpieces ofso many young gen-
(Fig.58), a young man chats with the grizzled old bagpiper,
obviously in their cups,Žas the old expression has it, which a housewife
strives vainly to stop.This fracas is ignored by the slightly lumpish young
suspects, common among all but the a‰uent until recently; ifso, viewers
ofsome feudal manor, these
pictures would have proclaimed not only the wealth and prestige oftheir
celebrated their festivals undisturbed.And less fortunate urbanites would
have recalled with pleasure, surely, the many occasions when they had left
their city cares behind them to relax among the peasants at kermis time
or during extended holidays in the country in their own
guests oftheir wealthier associates.
And even ifthe townsfolk regarded Bruegels peasant antics with a
sense oftheir own social superiority„the superiority ofthe people of
the lute to those ofthe bagpipe„I suspect that their laughter would have
been indulgent.It would also have been a laughter not untinged, perhaps,
104rustic revels
Frans Floris,
with the envy ofthe peace and freedom from care that townspeople of
every age have attributed to the country folk, colored by Virgils
, by Horaces famous second epode (Beatus illeŽ: Happy the his ancestral acresŽ), and by
the countless other poems and treatises before and after Virgil and Ho-
race that exalted the rustic life over that at court or in the city.We will
chie”y by their order ofacquisition or by the available wall space.
though documentary proofis lacking, it has been plausibly suggested that
Labors ofthe Months
of1565 were intended for the dining room
scribes the six successive days when a small group ofserious-minded gen-
tlemen gather for dinner, listen to readings from Plato, modern tragedies,
Jewish, and pagan.
ofan Italian gentleman and a Brabantine lady, the poem describes the
Frans Pourbus I,
Pierre de Moucheron and His
1563.Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum.
In the so-called Van
Berchem group portrait that Frans Floris painted in 1561 (Fig.63), the chil-
the grown-ups conduct themselves with a gravity that belies the appar-
ently convivial occasion in which they take part.But ofcourse this family
Similarly, while the lute and clavichord, those em-
inently upper-class instruments, may in fact re”ect the interests ofthose
playing them, they also, and perhaps more cogently, symbolize love and
This is probably the case in Pourbuss weddingŽ pic-
ture as well (see Fig.61).Thus, it would be hazardous, to say the least, to
accept such pictures as evidence ofreal-life behavior at the table.
Indeed, Erasmuss Folly quotes Horace to assure us, dulce est desipere
in loco,Ž it is delightful to be foolish at the proper time and place.Ž
may not be the most reliable authority on manners, even when invoking
making good cheer111
Family Portrait,
1561.Lier, Museum Wuyts-van
a revered ancient authority for support, but mealtime had long been seen
as a preeminent occasion for relaxation, sociability, and laughter, both to
standing, for instance, ofthe pilgrims who accompanied the English mys-
tic Margery Kempe on her journey to the Holy Land in the early “fteenth
over whos boss.Ž
He could even tolerate speaking ofridiculous and
squalid subjects as a means ofrelaxation (which would presumably have
included mealtime conversations), but only so long, he cautioned, as the
Elsewhere, however, Erasmus was more
circumspect.In his
they should be excused because the air oftheir country is extremely hu-
mid and melancholy.
Such views ofBruegels countrymen may well have been in”uenced
by the Roman historian Tacitus, who in his
Germanic tribes as fond ofentertainments and hospitality, and not par-
It was believed by Erasmus and
in the putative wedding feast by Frans Pourbus (see Fig.61).
This is not to claim, ofcourse, that serious subjects never dominated
sixteenth-century dinners.Indeed, the opposite was true, ifthe Bible
reading at Thomas Mores table and Martin Luthers table talkŽ are any
the jocularity ofa farcical
.Ifthe host and his guests exchanged
drew some ofthem from the published jest books and told others much
in the same spirit.Such collections ofanecdotes had long served to en-
liven the meal.Leon Battista Alberti, for example, gave his collection of
(Dinner Pieces), to in-
oªers a number ofjokes deemed appropriate at mealtimes.
In the short preface to his third book of
races famous dulce est desipere in loco,Ž this well-known expression was
exploited, as we have seen, by one ofthe fools in the Antwerp
Starter also assures us that everything has its time; it is praise-
also sounds very much like an old proverb, and we may well ask ifit, too,
was current in Bruegels time.
We shall never know ifJean Noirots dinner parties were quite as un-
inhibited as the ones depicted in these two seventeenth-century prints,
nor ifNoirot was more joyful in his drinking than he was wise in his call-
116making good cheer
Jan Saenredam, after Hendrick Goltzius,
The Four Times ofDay:Evening,
ing.But his dining room would have been a most appropriate place for
Plantin the same year.
This is not to claim, however, that the peasant
bene“ts, increase our vocabulary, sharpen our understanding, and en-
liven the gatherings offamily and friends.Ž
Thus, when people contemplated Bruegels
(see Fig.42), for ex-
ample, they may have recalled the old adage that asserts, It is a poor vil-
a year.Ž
Paris, Musée du Louvre.
guests who sooner sit by the wine jug than by the bride.Ž
And ifthe
serving man and row ofjugs at lower left were inspired by traditional de-
pictions ofthe Marriage Feast at Cana, as we see in a painting ofthis
subject by Gerard David (Fig.65), and Bruegel was thereby slyly sug-
gesting that only a similar miracle could satisfy all these thirsty guests,
art, perhaps his counterpart in the left background ofAertsens
of1557, now in Amsterdam (Fig.67).
Bruegels audience would surely
example, when she presides at the Marriage Feast at Cana (see Fig.65).
The old German expression to sit there like a peasant brideŽ might have
lar and lighthearted, much in the spirit ofthe occasion.We may also
wonder ifthe bride in the
Peasant Wedding Feast
terized by an English playwright ofthe next century, whose thoughts are
even acting ofthose hot and lustful sports / Are to ensue about mid-
ing expression.Ifany classically educated viewers ofBruegels peasant
scenes felt the urge to show oª their knowledge ofancient literature, they
may have quoted from Ovids description ofthe feast ofAnna Perenna,
gather near the banks ofthe Tiber; here they drink,
sing, and trip in dances
objects.Before this onslaught the demons prance about impotently or
as the “sh in Bruegels
, regurgitates a slew ofunclean
creatures outside the walls ofHell.Even more than the
believed (evidently he was not sure) that it was one ofthe pictures in the
palace ofthe emperor (that is, RudolfII).The subject, Van Mander tells
at the end ofthe group ofproverbs concerning henpecked husbands:
Who would have peace in his home must do what the wife wantsŽ; Who
know, in a fourteenth-century French poem.It was familiar to Chaucer,
who in the Clerks TaleŽ admonishes wives never to emulate the virtues
ofthe Patient Griselda, Lest Chichevache yow swelwe in hire entraille!Ž
(that is, swallow you in her entrailsŽ).
In a poem by John Lydgate,
Chichevache was joined by Bycorne, (Bigorne), a name that one scholar
, meaning two horned,Ž alluding to the cuckolded
Bigorne and Chichevache,
and swords (Fig.73).One dauntless housewife even humiliates her vic-
A second devil departs in haste, crying, Alas, alas!Ž chased by a whip-
wielding woman who urges the demon to Wait up a bit!Ž while several
ofher companions secure a third devil with chains to a large cushion.
A woman binding the Devil to a cushion occurs in a number ofchoir stall
depicted this motifin his
Women Fighting Devils,
engraving, Italian School, 15th century.
times in the plays ofShakespeare.
It was no wonder, then, that a virago was called a
, literally, a
Old Woman Confronting Devils,
ca.1475, woodcut,
Augsburg.Leipzig, Universitätsbibliothek der Universität
Sachs describes how the Devil comes up to the surface to seek a wife.He
marries an old woman who is rich but ugly, and she beats him up so much
at night that he “nally runs away.On learning that his wife has gone to
Old Woman Thrashing a Devil,
ca.1532, woodcut.
ritories oftheir husbands in their absence.
Jacob Binck,
Old Woman Clubbing the Devil,
1528, engraving.Vienna, Albertina.
the Breeches, in which the wife often clinches her victory over her hus-
Daniel Hopfer,
Three Old Women Thrashing the
nival play of1553 by Hans Sachs.
The Feast ofMany Courses,
ofthe speakers recommend that mimes and buªoons be engaged to
present such commonplace subjects as a woman arguing with her hus-
band over whos boss.Ž
Kenau Simonsdr.Hasselaer,
and ends ofhousehold goods, we may note that in the dictionaries of
Monogrammist MT,
ca.1540…43, engraving.London, British
on the right in the picture (see Fig.70) that ladles out from its egg-shaped
distaª, the large spoon or ladle was a traditional attribute ofthe house-
horde (see Fig.76).But a devil wielding this domestic utensil is a dis-
tinct novelty.Grauls suggested that this “gure was inspired by the ex-
pression to ladle with a big spoon,Ž signifying excessive liberality, waste,
and prodigality, an expression that he found in Satoriuss
liades Tres
the big spoonŽ also has a long handle, which was proverbially recom-
mended for dining with the Devil.Chaucer, for example, tells us, There-
ing merchandise; after the death oftheir husbands, they often run the
family businesses on their own.One such widow was Volcxken Diercx,
who after the death ofher husband Hieronymus Cock continued issu-
ing prints under the sign ofthe Four Winds, possibly until her own death
Others were Kenau Simonsdr.Hasselaer, the heroine of
who drives devils out oftheir “re-lit cave, jewels once more caught up
in her apron, an illustration ofthe variant She could go to Hell with
Old Woman Attacking Devils.
whose rim is marked with characters impossible to decipher.But in both
Tenierss and Ryckaerts pictures the infernal topography has been re-
duced to the barest indications,
ill-tempered, in comparison with the demonic anger ofBruegels Dulle
David Teniers the Younger,
Old Woman Binding a Devil to a Cush-
Munich, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Alte Pinakothek.
You will marvel at how many jokes and laughter can accompany such
serious and weighty matters.
Nothing is more fun than treating jokes seriously.
It would probably be unwarranted to characterize the sixteenth century
as the Age ofLaughter, but throughout western Europe Bruegels con-
temporaries pursued laugher with an unprecedented vigor.They gener-
animal„laughter is mans special attribute [
Rabelais insisted in the introductory verses to his
Gargantua and Pantagruel
ical eªects, and the objects and situations that incited it.The physician
Finally, an ordinance of1559 speci“cally distinguishes
Clucht van plaijerwater
homely lessons that preachers and authors ofmoral tracts had long urged
on their audiences and with an imagery, however original, whose import
scathedŽ and to tie the Devil to a cushionŽ).In this regard, the
Borcht and other Antwerp artists.This development ofpeasant satire in
is it likely that viewers would have seen them that way.On the contrary,
Bruegels paintings show the peasants in a favorable, even idealized, light,
this manner early in the following century by the rulers ofthe Spanish
the positive tradition ofpeasant imagery.All too often ignored in dis-
cussions ofpeasant festivals is the fact that such imagery stems ultimately
from classical antiquity.Virgil and Horace, as we have seen, had exalted
the virtuous life ofagricultural workers and the countryside in general
over the intrigues and corruption ofcourt and city, and they were fol-
lowed by a host ofRenaissance writers in the same vein.Especially pop-
Spanish prelate and adviser to Charles V; “rst published in 1539, it was
A Dispraise ofthe
Courtiers Life
), and read all over Europe.Guevara praised the life on the
Jan Brueghel the Elder,
a Peasant Wedding Feast.
enthusiastic encomium ofcountry existence, where the farmer, we are
told in the English edition of1600, leads a life oflibertie and inno-
countryside.Such images ofrobust, uninhibited peasant celebrations
what extent rustic revels in the Flemish fashionŽ permeated urban and
courtly festivities ofthe seventeenth century is a subject requiring fur-
ther study,
but there can be little doubt that Bruegels paintings ofcoun-
try revels played a benign and even positive role in the festive urban cul-
ture ofhis day, and as such they were signi“cant manifestations ofhis art
156taking laughter seriously
The books epigraph is quoted from Rabelais-Cohen 1955, p.36, dedicatory poem
Epigraph: Rabelais-Cohen 1955, p.38 (authors prologue to
indebted for this passage to Barolsky 1978, p.194.
1.Van Mander-Miedema 1994…99, 1: fol.233 (pp.190, 192).This statement
follows Van Manders observations on Bruegels works in the style ofHi-
clearly suggested by the episode ofAert Molckeman discussed below (see
2.A notable exception is Sullivan 1994, who titles her chapter 2: Wit, hu-
mour, ingenuity (salus, ridiculo, ingenioisa)Ž (pp.47…69), although any
reader will quickly realize that her understanding oflaughter diªers
3.This phrase taken from the title ofthe volume published ofthe plays per-
5.Popham 1931; the full text also in Freedberg 1989, p.65; Meadow 1996,
p.193; and Meadow 2002, pp.109…110.For the original text, see Or-
telius 1969, facsimile fols.12v…13r; French translation, pp.21…22.Müller-
Hofstede 1979, p.76 n.2, suggests that the epitaph was composed over
a period oftime.
6.Gibson 1977, p.11; Melion 1991, p.178; and the valuable discussions of
Orteliuss epitaph in Muylle 1981; Meadow 1997, pp.192…196; and
Meadow 2002, pp.108…117.
7.Pliny 1968, p.133 (35.96).
8.For the passage in Pliny, see Pliny the Elder,
Natural History
1968, pp.116, 117).The scene is described in Euripides play
Iphigeneia in
.Timanthes depiction ofIphigeneias sacri“ce is also mentioned by,
among others, Quintilian 1921…22, 1:294…295 (
21.74; and later cited by Alberti (Alberti 1966, p.78); and Francis-
cus Junius (Junius 1991, 1:215).For classical and Renaissance writers on
16.Panofsky 1953, 1:141…142.It is doubtful that he intended to be as dog-
matic and inclusive as this sounds; elsewhere in the same chapter, he in-
sists that we have no way ofknowing to what extent objects in a given
26.Herbert L.Stein-Schneider, Bruegel Revised,Ž
36…40.For a similar allegorical approach to Bruegels landscape prints,
42.In another painting by Bruegel, the
Conversion ofSaul
Alison Stewart.In a similar manner, perhaps, the shirt may be thought
ofas sealedŽ or stained with the eªorts ofdefecation, much as a piece
ofpaper might be stained with drops ofsealing wax, but this must re-
50.Van Mander-Miedema 1994…99, 1: fol.266v (pp.324…325).Miedema
tends to dismiss the story as one ofVan Manders own invention (5:55).
51.See Monballieu 1969.
52.For similar observations on Bruegels art, see Muylle 1984; as B.A.M.
Ramakers has aptly put it, there was room in Bruegels art for the smile
and the guªaw, as well as for serious thoughts (Ramakers 1997, p.102).
Epigraphs: Ozment 1986, p.161; and Johan Huizinga,
The Waning ofthe Middle Ages:
ofmanners that held that laughter had to be containedŽ; see also n.68 below.
However, at least one sixteenth-century writer would probably have agreed
that Molckeman was no gentleman.In his commentary on Vitruvius con-
cerning the proper subjects to paint in the rooms ofprivate houses (
Ten Books on Architecture
, 7:5), Gualtherus Rivius asks, Who can receive plea-
sure from a picture ofa truly drunken peasant, who shits and vomits be-
hind a fence? Such repulsiveness gives pleasure to someone who is improper,
has the sense ofa peasant, and who can inappropriately be called human.
To the shame ofpainting, there are so many nowadays who draw and paint
such inhuman things that ought to horrify a reasonable person.Ž See
Gualtherus Hermanius Rivius [Walther Hermannus Ryª],
Vitruvius Teutsch
(Nuremberg, 1548), fol.ccxxxi (verso); I am greatly indebted for this quo-
a photocopy ofthe original text.Similar complaints, I suspect, have been
aired in every age; in his
(1st ed., 1707), Gerard de
Lairesse tells us that there is hardly a “ne interior that is unadorned by pic-
tures ofbeggars, bordellos, taverns,
...dirty children on their pots and other
things more “lthy and worseŽ (quoted in Gibson 2000, p.148).
3.Burke 1978, esp.pp.271…272; Muchembled 1985; and Elias 2000.
4.Elias 2000, pp.61, 71, 110…111; cf.Burke 1978, p.270, who tell us that [i]n
1500 popular culture was everyones culture, a second culture for the ed-
ucated, and the only culture for everyone else.By 1800, however, in most
parts ofEurope, the clergy, the nobility, the merchants, the professional
men„and their wives„had abandoned popular culture to the lower classes
3.10 (Aristotle 1984, 1:1049).For the con-
cepts oflaughter from antiquity to the Renaissance, see Screech and
pp.19…20; and Gilhus 1997, pp.14…101.For
erty ofman, see Screech and Calder 1992, p.170.
6.Screech and Calder 1992, p.170.
7.Quoted from his
(1575), in Bowen 1998, p.21.
8.Van Stipriaan 1996, pp.22…23; Dekker 1997, pp.15…17; and Verberckmoes
popular classŽ; see Chartier, Culture as Appropriation: Popular Cultural
Understanding Popular Culture: Europe from
31.Quoted in Bowen 1998, p.15; the same passage occurs in Barolsky 1978,
on the title page.The
is a collection ofstories that has
been described as permeated by the spirit ofRabelais, from whom Des
Périers took the injunction Live well and rejoice.Ž Toward the end of
his life, Des Périers was discharged from the queens service, not for his
views on laughter, but because she was shocked by his openly expressed
50 (1953): 566…572.Hassel, incidentally, does not mention laughter
32.Quoted in Burke 1978, p.26, after C.R.Baskerville,
501.See also Graf1997, pp.29…39.For Follys remark, see Erasmus-Miller
1979, p.82.
, trans.E.W.Sutton and H.Rackham, Loeb Classical
Library (London: William Heinemann; Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard
University Press, 1942), 1:372…419 (2.58.235…71.290).For Castigliones
account, compare Cicero: the essential nature oflaughter, the way it is
out so unexpectedly that, strive as we may, we cannot restrain it, and how
at the same instant it takes possession ofthe lungs, voice, pulse, counte-
nance and eyes„all this I leave to DemocritusŽ (
1:373].Castigliones indebtedness to Cicero and Quintilian is also noted
by Barolsky 1978, pp.4, 6.
37.The in”uence ofCiceros
on sixteenth-century discussions of
laughter is emphasized in Bowen 1998, pp.142…146.
38.Joubert-Rocher 1980, pp.94…95.Joubert tells us that a translation of
the “rst book had been published clandestinely more than twenty years
previously, and it has been suggested that the last two books were writ-
ten shortly before the 1578 publication (Machline 1998, p.254).Like
Vives and Erasmus, among others, Joubert counseled moderate laugh-
ter.For convenient summaries ofJouberts book, see Machline 1998; and
Verberckmoes 1999, pp.14…17.Useful, too, is Gregory de Rocher,
belais Laughters and Jouberts
Ž (University: University ofAlabama
39.Bijns 1875, p.43 (
to Modern Times
(New Haven: Yale University Press,1968); and esp.
Schmitz 1972, pp.116…156, who devotes considerable attention to the
importance oflaughter for melancholics.
43.For Iambe (also called Baubo), see Gilhus 1997, pp.33…34;
p.28, who usefully reminds us that in the sixteenth century, a
not have to be comic, but as a short anecdote in prose, it covers the plu-
ral meaning ofjoke, short comic play, trickery, disguise, lie, whim, sim-
; see Lodder 1996, esp.pp.147, 161.Cf.
Mary ofNemeghen
are cited in Pikhaus 1988…89,p.134: in one
dience to maecht vreucht in desen recreatie!Ž that is, to take joy in this
recreation, or play.
81.Adapted from Horace 1991, pp.6, 7 (
1.1.24), or
Dreaming ofCockaigne: Medieval Fantasies of
the Perfect Life
(New York: Columbia University Press, 1997), p.25.The
motifofthe supposedly therapeutic water appears again in a tale in the
1983, pp.141…142, no.132, in which a husband feigns
E.Roobaert, Jan Walravens, alias Oomken, schilder en rederijker to Brus-
fortunes ofBoschs monstrous inventions, see Silver 1999.In some con-
texts, ofcourse, such monsters were also employed for serious purposes;
see Unverfehrt 1984; and Paul Vandenbroeck, Zur Herkunft und Ver-
wurzelung der Grillen. Vom Volksmythos zum Kunst- und literaturthe-
11.Joubert-Rocher 1980, pp.20…23, cites various incongruities as objects
12.See Ruth Mortimer,
Harvard College, Department ofPrinting and Graphic Arts,
Catalogue ofBooks and Manuscripts,
Part 1,
French 16th Century Books
(Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1964), 2:612…613, no.499,
citing P.D.Plan,
(Paris, 1904).
13.De Tolnay 1952, p.19.For the series, see Rotterdam…New York 2001,
pp.144…160, cat.nos.42…54.
vey ofopinions on Bruegels art from Ortelius to Van Mander, see
Meadow 2002, pp.104…107.
21.For a similar gown, see Max von Boehn,
, trans.Joan
Joshua, 4 vols.(Philadelphia: J.B.Lippincott, 1932…36), 2:169, after an
engraving by Enea Vico.
22.This phrase occurs in the subtitle ofhis book on the ancient, Italian, and
German painters; see Van Mander 1969, unnumbered folio (fol.58r).My
thanks to Eddy de Jongh for this reference.This combination ofin-
, ed.Gerard Rooijakkers, Léne Dresen-Coenders,
seriously.In Strasbourg, Johannes Geiler von Kayserberg preached a se-
ries ofsermons on the
tion; in the 1520 German edition ofthese sermons, Sebastian Brants son
Onophrius emphasized the moral teachings ofthe
.See Noll
1999, pp.73…74.
32.Brant-Zeydel 1962, pp.76…77, chap.7, OfCausing Discord.Ž
33.See Verberckmoes 1999, p.32, with further references.
1983, pp.92…93, no.57.
35.Some examples in Gibson 1981, pp.438…439.
36.Andriessoon 2003, p.29; the collection exists only in manuscript form.
Andriessoon also copied playsby other
for use by his chamber.
37.Hüsken 1996, p.113, who ascribes a somewhat diªerent meaning to this
expression.For more on this proverb, see pp.115…116 below.
38.Brussels 1994, pp.84…85, with color; and Hüsken 1996,
p.113 and “g.9.
39.Grauls 1957, pp.118…125.
40.Hüsken 1996, p.113.
41.Rotterdam…New York 2001, pp.140…144, cat.nos.38…41.
42.Kavaler 1999, pp.80…84, with earlier references.
43.For fuller discussions ofthis print, see Gibson 1992b, esp.p.74; and esp.
Kavaler 1999, pp.77…93.The proverbs are restated in the verses in sev-
eral languages added in the two editions ofthe “rst state; see Rotterdam…
New York 2001, pp.166…168, esp.n.1, cat.nos.58…59.
44.For a recent study ofthe
notes to pages 37…43179
pared the eyes and mouths in Bruegels faces to the pointsŽ (presum-
ably chunks ofcoal or suchlike) on a snowman; see Sedelmeyr, Bruegels
Macchia (1934),Ž in Wood 2000, pp.322…376, esp.329.
55.Joshua Reynolds,
, intro.Robert Lavine (New York: Col-
lier Books, 1961), p.72 (
1772).Similarly, Charles Darwin
occupied with physical beauty to represent the more intense human emo-
tions.They avoid extreme emotion because the strongly contracted
facial muscles destroy beautyŽ; see Charles Darwin,
The Expression ofthe
(1872; New York: Philosophical Library, 1955),
introduction, p.14.
56.Bartolomeo Fazio,
, ca.1453…57, quoted from
tary History ofArt,
62.For this subject, see Walter S.Gibson, 
: The Passion
Scenes ofHieronymus Bosch,Ž
6 (1972…73): 83…93, and esp.the
illuminating study by James H.Marrow,
Passion Iconography in Northern Eu-
rope ofthe Late Middle Ages and Early Renaissance: A Study ofthe Transformation of
by Muylle 2001, p.180 n.17.
67.Joubert-Rocher 1980, p.6.
sance: The Triumph ofFlemish Manuscript Painting in Europe
, ed.Thomas Kren
and Scot McKendrick, 2003,, ill.p.275.
69.Cf.Carolus Scribanius, who, although he shared the common tendency
to read emotions into the actors ofa depicted scene, makes some acute
Massyss St.John triptych (Antwerp, Koninklijk Museum voor Schone
Kunsten), showing the martyrdom ofJohn the Evangelist and the dance
ofSalome (Held 1996, p.202).
70.See Alison G.Stewart,
Unequal Lovers: A Study ofUnequal Couples in Northern
(New York: Abaris Books, 1977); and Verberckmoes 2001, pp.97…101.
71.Hand and Wolª 1986, pp.146…150, with a color ill.
72.See Malines 2003, pp.114…117,, with a color ill., with a doubt-
ful attribution to Jan Massys.
Waanders, 1997), pp.24…25.Westermanns monograph presents an il-
luminating study ofthe comic element in Steens art.
80.But see Sluijter 1991; and De Jongh 2000, pp.14…29.
81.This anecdote is cited by Pier Paolo Vergerio,
Be“tting a Free-Born Youth
(ca.1402…3); see Craig W.Kallendorf, ed.and
Humanist Educational Treatises
sity Press, 2002), p.23.
82.For Aristotle and Cato, see Verberckmoes 1998, p.2; for St.Jerome, see
Caroline Walker Bynum,
The Resurrection ofthe Body in Western Christianity,
(New York: Columbia University Press, 1995), p.87; for Bede
), see Constable 1995, p.175.For other exam-
ples, see Gibson 2000, pp.75…76; and particularly De Jongh 2000,
83.Erika Rummel,
The Humanist-Scholastic Debate in the Renaissance and Reforma-
(Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1995), pp.42 and
73…74 respectively.Cf.Matthijs de Castelein, who in his
moral or didactic content.For similar objections, see Klaske Muizelaar
Picturing Men and Women in the Dutch Golden Age: Paint-
ings and People in Historical Perspective
(New Haven: Yale University Press,
2003), pp.127…128.Cf.De Jongh 2000, p.100, who aptly observes
concerning seventeenth-century Dutch art and literature in general,
one leads so one follows him; ifhe does evil, one does evil too; ifhe does
good, one also does good.Ž But Aristotle was more neutral.In his
(bk.7), he asks, Why do men generally themselves yawn when they
see others yawn?Ž (Aristotle 1984, 2:1369 [886a25…28]).Leonardo da
Vinci prided himselfon painting a yawning man so eªectively that the
viewer was compelled to yawn in response; see Bob Scribner, Ways of
Seeing in the Age ofDürer,Ž in
, ed.Dagmar Eich-
berger and Charles Zika (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,
1998), pp.93…117, esp.104.For the role ofthe yawn in traditional theo-
ries ofthe passions and the four humors, see Wolter Seuntjens, Damp,
19, no.2 (2003): 169…180.I owe this reference
87.E.g., Ertz 1988…2000, 2: 955…957; and Roberts-Jones 2002, p.278.
see Lydia de Pauw-de Veen,
Bijdrage tot de studie van de woordenschat in ver-
2001, pp.176…178.For the third state, see also Muylle 2002, pp.
131…134, 140…147.
101.For the Hampton Court and Vienna versions, see Grossmann 1955, pls.
110…114 and p.199.
102.See Michael Francis Gibson,
Gregory Martin and Mia Cinotti,
18.Ibid., p.93.
20.Ibid., pp.94…95; quotation on p.94.
21.See esp.ibid., p.69.
22.Sullivan 1999, p.256.
23.This passage merits quotation in full: In the context ofBruegels own
work, and the values ofhis audience, the dancers in the
Peasant Dance
Triumph ofTime
umph ofSaturn
, a print perhaps after Bruegels design; see Van Bastelaer-
Gilchrist 1992, pp.272…274, no.204], a more obviously classical work,
represent the careless, pagan life ofpeople who are Christians in name
only, the fools ofthe world about to be overtaken by death and timeŽ
24.Ibid., pp.100…105.
25.But cf.the review ofSullivans book by Nina Eugenia Serebrennikov in
49 (1996): 678…680.Other commentaries on Sul-
livans thesis include Ramakers 1996, p.95; and Ramakers 2002, pp.
26.Nor is this problem resolved by Sullivans remark, 1994, p.7: We can-
but Adolph Monballieu has observed that persons listed in de BloemeŽ
are identi“ed by their occupations, not their place oforigin, and suggests
that Franckaert was a dealer in Nuremberg wares,Ž that is, knickknacks
or small objects ofiron.Monballieu, cited in Van Mander-Miedema
1994…99, 3:259, commentary for fol.233r32.In a document of1553 Cor-
nelis Cock, a brother ofthe print publisher Hieronymus Cock, describes
himselfas a
, that is, a merchant ofNurem-
berg waresŽ; see A.Monballieu, P.Bruegels Schaatsenrijden bij de St.-
nucé 1932, p.5.
33.For a similar observation, see Müller 1999, p.20.
34.For Bles and his workshop, see Gibson 1989, pp.26…33; and Luc Serck,
35.The term
was a proverbial expression indicating anything oflittle
signi“cance, such as friends by the dozen,Ž and so forth.See
1882…1998, s.v., Dozijn (1).Ž It is employed in this sense by Vermeylen
de Vries plausibly argues that DHeere could not have held Bruegel in
such contempt (De Vries 2004, pp.43…44).
36.See Hughs and Bianconi 1967, pp.89…90, no.13; pp.103…104, no.39;
p.104, no.40, respectively.However, Bruegel may have employed some
assistants; at least Van Mander tells us that he often frightened his as-
) by making strange noises; Van Mander-Miedema
1994…99, 1: fol.233v (p.193).
37.For the
Suicide ofSaul
(Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum), see Gross-
mann 1955, pls.46…47; for the
Labors ofthe Months
1866…1932, 16: col.315.
42.Van Mander tells us that Bruegel also did work for his friend Hans
Franckaert, but we have no idea what it may have been; see Van Man-
der-Miedema 1994…99, 1: fol.233r (pp.190…191).
43.Piquard 1947…48, pp.135…136.
1.See pp.25…26.
2.See pp.10…11.
The Well-to-Do Beggars
(Erasmus-Thompson 1965, p.209).For the neg-
ativeŽ and positiveŽ traditions ofpeasant imagery, see Gibson 1991, esp.
pp.17…26, with earlier literature.A recent and extended study ofpeas-
Historische Uitgeven Pro Civitate, Reeks in 8
driks purchase ofBerchem, it apparently contained other summer-
houses; see Prims 1949, pp.293…315.For Cornelis van Dalem, see Kavaler
1999, p.49.
22.Kavaler 1999, p.165.In addition to his country residences noted above,
Granvelle also owned the seigneuries ofBosbeeck, Bouchout, and Sint-
Laurent-ten-Hove, in the vicinity ofAntwerp, all three named in a war-
See Rotterdam…New York 2001, pp.198…200, last two
lines are generally translated as They must hold their kermises / even
though they [must] fast and die from the cold.Ž The meaning ofthe last
line is unclear, and it has been suggested that the word
translated as cold,Ž may mean chew.Ž See Van Bastelaer-Gilchrist 1992,
p.282 n.250.For this print and its signi“cance, as well as Hoboken as a
country resort, see Monballieu 1974; Monballieu 1987; and Gibson 1991,
29.Monballieu 1987, p.205; and Dierickx 1954, p.75.See Monballieu 1974,
pp.157…169, for a group ofkermis scenes that he believes, and I think
cation dHoboqueŽ is listed in the estate inventory ofFilips Willem van
Oranje (Brussels, 1618), William ofOranges eldest son, who had been
taken hostage by Philip II ofSpain; see Monballieu 1974, pp.140…141.
38.Van Haecht 1929…33, 1:11.
39.This is the only property mentioned by Guicciardini 1567, p.151: Bal-
thasar, Seigneur de Hoboke[n].Ž For Sauviuss portrait, see Gibson 2000,
p.19, “g.30.
40.See Dierickx 1954, p.34, for an account ofBalthazars acquisitions ofland,
as well as his purchase ofthe rights to collect for himselfthe various taxes
in Hoboken formerly collected by various individuals and religious in-
41.For the administrative organization ofHoboken, see Dierickx 1954,
42.Monballieu 1974, p.142.
48.Van Haecht 1929…33, 1:211; in the following year, there was talk ofbring-
ing Berchem and other villages within the city walls, then under en-
largement; see ibid., 2:7.
49.Jan van der Noot,
, ed.C.A.Zaalberg
(Zwolle: W.E.J.Teenk, 1958), p.3, in his dedication to the lords of
50.Estienne 1600, pp.27…28.
51.Cited in Kavaler 1999, p.196.
52.Guicciardini 1567, p.39.
53.For the prohibitions against kermises, see Gibson 1991, p.35, with fur-
54.I owe this observation to Kavaler 1999, pp.152…153, who also percep-
1555…60 (Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum), in which the gentleman
the serving girl, who modestly attempts to push it away; Leo van
werp published in the 1550s and 1560s (ibid., cat.nos.12, 27, 32, 36, with
the accompanying plates), including a print by Melchisedek van Hoorn
of1550 (Gibson 2000, p.16, “g.25).Crowded ferryboats can often be
across the river.
64.Rotterdam…New York 2001, pp.196…197, the possible
political implications ofthis inscription, see Carroll 1987, pp.295…302.
65.For this group in Baltenss painting, see Ramakers 2002, pp.44…47.
66.Quoted from the Burwell Lute TutorŽ in Zecher 2000, p.771.In Jost
(Nuremberg, 1568), with verses by Hans Sachs, the
dress; see Jost Amman and Hans Sachs,
The Book ofTrades (Ständebuch)
tro.Benjamin A.Rifkin(New York: Dover Publications, 1973), pp.114…115.
67.The bagpipe was a usual instrument for shepherds as well (Cooper 1977,
68.Rotterdam…New York 2001, pp.225…227,, pre-
the water.Various versions ofthis anecdote are told by the ancient writ-
6:697; see also Barolsky 1978, pp.184…187.
69.Munich 1999, p.96; and Jones 2002b, pp.269…270.But even the aris-
tocratic lute had erotic connotations; its shape could evoke a womans
body (Zecher 2000, pp.772…775).
70.Brant-Zeydel 1962, chap.54, pp.186…187, OfImpatience ofPunish-
ment.Ž For this woodcut, see Munich 1999, pp.95…96.Cf.Ramakers
1996, pp.56…57 and “g.3, who notes several processions in Oudenaarde,
including the triumphal entry ofJoanna ofCastile in 1496, in which fools
71.Theodore de Bry,
for current information on these three pictures.Even before the ap-
pearance ofthe third, Wied had suggested that the date 1577 “t into the
artists stylistic development.
79.For the identi“cation ofthe “gures in this composition, see Alexander
Wied, Neues zu Lucas und Marten van Valckenborch,Ž
Jahrbuch der Kunst-
historischen Sammlungen in Wien
85…86 (1989…90): 9…23, esp.9…14; Wied
1990, pp.24…26; and Kavaler 1999, p.194.A few years later, Ortelius
published an account ofthis tour:
p.324 n.14.
81.For examples, see Wied 1990, cat.nos.18, 23, 28, 29, passim.
82.Van Mander, in his life ofthe Valckenborch brothers, notes that Marten
and especially Lucas were accomplished players ofthe
that is rendered in Van Mander-Miedema 1994…99, 1: fol.260r (p.298)
notes to pages 94…96203
as German ”ute,Ž but Wied 1990, p.26, translates as
pipe.Another artist associated with the bagpipe is Hemessen, whom Car-
olus Scribanius identi“es as the bagpiper in the latters
(Brussels, Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts; Held 1996,
p.187, “g.56).Julius Held suggests that Scribaniuss identi“cation
re”ects an authentic tradition (pp.188…190, 203).It might be noted that
the bagpipe enjoyed considerable popularity in the seventeenth century
among the French aristocracy, where it was known as a
87.Burke 1997, p.130.Burke 1978, pp.24…25, gives some examples ofelite
88.Cf.Ramakers 2002, pp.38…39, for whom the festive culture oftown and
country had much in common.Even ifthere were diªerences, he tells us,
this story, see, for example, Grossmann 1955, pp.27…28, who suggests
that Van Mander was inspired by Leonardo da Vincis advice to artists
to observe the conduct ofpeople in real life, as well as the anecdote told
by Giovanni Paolo Lomazzo (
Tratto dellarte de la pittura
, 1584) ofLeonardos
sures ofthe World
and the Limits ofFestival,Ž in
no.5 (1997): 30…38; and Persels 1997, two references I owe to Eddy de
Jongh and Alison Stewart respectively.
107.Rabelais-Cohen 1955, pp.234…235 (bk.2, chaps.18…19).See Persels 1997.
Rabelais-Cohen 1955, p.55 (bk.1, chap.8).In this passage, Rabelais claims
On the Dignity ofCodpieces
109.For the in”uence ofBehams
on Bruegels
2003, p.91.See also Yoko Mori, The In”uence ofGerman and Flemish
to Beham and Dürer.
110.The young man has probably been drinking, but it is diˆcult to accept
Sullivans conclusion that he is befuddled, foggy, and unsteadyŽ and in
a drunken stuporŽ (Sullivan 1994, p.56).
111.See p.72.
112.Van Eeghem 1943, pp.216, line 121, and 213, line 69, respectively.
113.See p.88.
114.For Breugels portrait, see Lampsonius-Puraye 1956, no.19; a good il-
lustration in Gibson 1991, p.42, “g.38.I am not so convinced as I was
previously that it necessarily represents Bruegel himself(ibid., p.41).
For the portrait ofFranckaert, see Kavaler 1999, p.50 and “g.23.
115.For examples, see Raupp 1986, pp.134…194, 245…257.
116.See Van de Velde 1975, 1:; for another example, ibid., 1: cat.
no.S.137; 2: “g.71 (Stockholm, National Museum).
117.The English translation in Meadow 1996, p.193.A comparable senti-
ment appears in a sixteenth-century inscription attached to the reverse
(Paris, Musée du Louvre): What is lacking in [our]
nature, is lacking here in [our] art.So great is the talent given to this
painter.Here is Nature expressed in painted “gures, surprised to see that
Bruegel is her equal, even seen in [the] cripplesŽ (Muylle 1981, p.335).
Epigraphs: Goedthals 1568, p.56; and Erasmus,
XXXVI, “rst included at the end ofthe 1508 edition, quoted in Erasmus-Phillips
1967, pp.32…33.
1.Goldstein 2003, pp.262…263.
notes to pages 100…106207
2.Ibid., pp.18…21.
3.In the estate inventories in Stappaerts 1987…88, rooms are generally des-
ignated by their location in the house, very seldom by function.See also
21.See p.1, and n.1 above.
22.Van Mander-Miedema 1994…99, 1: fol.261v (pp.304…305).
23.For De Moucheron, see
Nieuw Ned.biog.woordenboek
1911…37, 7: cols.
24.In any study ofportraiture, one might pro“tably consult the deportment
recommended in the various courtesy booksŽ and other handbooks on
25.See Goldstein 2003, pp.23…24, on the social signi“cance ofthe dining
table in the Van BerchemŽ family portrait.
26.For the symbolism in this picture, as well as the emblematic inscription
on the original frame, see Van de Velde 1975, 1:290…292,
27.See Erasmus-Miller 1979, p.118, quoted from Horace,
see Horace,
(Lincoln: University ofNebraska Press, 1963), p.8.Brewer
suggests that the stories come from the circle ofThomas More (Brewer
1996, p.xxxiii).
36.The original painting is lost; for Holbeins drawing recording this picture
and copies after it, see John Rowlands,
Holbein: The Paintings ofHans Hol-
(ed.1983, nos.1,
44 (1), 65, and 147).Guicciardini 1567, p.39, also reports that the Bel-
told for amusement, in a mood ofrelaxation and con“dence, and, de-
spite their frequently bawdy subject matter, recited in mixed companyŽ;
see Charles Muscatine, The Fablieux,Ž in
A New History ofFrench Litera-
, ed.Denis Hollier (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press,
1989), p.70; and Lodder 1996, pp.120…122.
1983, pp.48 and 44 respectively; see p.44 for Wick-
rams further assurance that his collection is suitable for use on ship voy-
(1524); Erasmus-Thompson 1965, pp.254…266, esp.
265…266: in a jocular discussion concerning the most honorable part of
the body, one guest maintains that it is the mouth, the other insists that
it is the part which we sit on
...because priority in seating is allowed
74.Goedthals 1568, p.36:
In bruloften ende kinderbedden / onderhoudt men
80.In a document of1588 four people who had attended the wedding ofthe
vuile bruydt
The Ship ofFools,
1.Roberts-Jones 2002, p.96.
2.Van Mander-Miedema 1994…99, 1: fol.233v (pp.192…193).The transla-
tion is my own.An inventory taken in 1647…48 ofthe paintings in the Hrad-
in Prague, includes [e]in Daªel mit Feuerstbrunst,
name, whom he referred to as my Xanthippe,Ž after the shrewish wife of
Socrates (ibid., pp.159…160).
7.Grauls 1957, p.39, who notes later cannons bearing similar names.
on the context in which the proverb She could plunder in front of
Hell...Ž appears in the
.The proverb about the blind
man receives an extensive commentary in Agricola 1971, 1:554, no.748.
14.See respectively Brant-Zeydel 1962, chap.64, pp.212…215 (the quotation
on p.214);
Dichten en spelen van Jan van den Berghe
, ed.C.Kruyskamp, Uitgave
van de Vereeniging der Antwerpsche Biblio“elen, 2nd ser., no.4 (The
Hague: Martinus Nijhoª, 1950), p.28, lines 645…655; and Thomas Nashe,
The Anatomie ofAbsurdities
, quoted in De Bruyn 1979, p.130.
further references to these two monsters, as well as Taylor 1980; Jones
2002a; and Jones 2002b, pp.246…247.Several English misericords
show Bigorne swallowing a patient husband; see Christa Grössinger,
turing Women in Late Medieval Art
(Manchester: Manchester University
Press, 1997), p.119, “g.52, and p.121.
21.Taylor 1980, p.104.
; Hummelen 1968, 4 03, vv.118…119; quoted in
26.In the
ofHesse sent two cannons for the siege ofMünster, one called the Devil,
the other the Devils Dam; see Anthony Arthur,
The Tailor-King: The Rise
and Fall ofthe Anabaptist Kingdom ofMünster
(New York: St.Martins Press,
1999), p.45.
30.Both proverbs occur in Andriessoon 2003, nos.21.5 and 96.5 respectively.
31.Max Lehrs,
Houwaert 1579, p.70.
Das Jad von Wirtemberg
, in Adelbert von Keller, ed.,
Bibliothek des Litterarischen Vereins in Stuttgart
35 (Stuttgart: Litterarischer Verein, 1855), pp.80…92, esp.90 for the ad-
West Prussia, about 1443, in which men dressed as devils and hunted up
old women and supposedly carried them oª to Hell; see R.W.Scribner,
Popular Culture and Popular Movements in Reformation Germany
52.Gibson 1979, p.11.
53.See pp.112…113 above.
54.Goedthals 1568, p.54: Eenen roofvoor dhelle halen / Il yroit a lenfer
lespee au poingŽ;Lambrecht 1945, p.165, s.v., RoofŽ:hy zou eenen Roof
, trans.Sarah Knight, Latin text ed.Vir-
ginia Brown and Sarah Knight, The I Tatti Renaissance Library, no.8 (Cambridge,
Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2003), p.199 (bk.3); Erasmus,
The FabulousFeast
in Erasmus-Thompson 1965, p.266.
1.Pleij 1995, p.6.
2.Pleij 1974…75, pp.116…117.
3.Coigneau 1980…83, 1:14; see Van Doesborch-Kruyskamp 1940, 2:228:
4.Coigneau 1980…83, 1:15; see also pp.74…82 for a description ofthis
1882…1998, s.v., recreatie.Ž
6.Pleij 1995, p.6.This anecdote concerns a man who, “nding his wife with
the local priest, is convinced by the couple that he is dead.After laying
generally assumed.In this context, see also Stewart 1995, esp.p.360.
11.Raupp 1986, p.298, sec.d.For a somewhat earlier controversy over Bruegels
peasant scenes, see Alpers 1972…73; Miedema 1977; and Alpers 1978…79.
12.Gibson 1989, pp.60…75.
13.Cf.Stewart 2004, p.129, who notes that in Bruegels
ofthe peasants adopt poses that suggest bodily acts without speci“cally
14.Further research into the Antwerp archives, along the lines ofStappaerts
1987…88 and Goldstein 2003, might give us additional information con-
1965; Smolderen 1996, p.9).
15.De Maeyer 1955, p.155, who cites a panegyric written at Alberts death,
21.See Mak, 1959, pp.510…511, with a citation ofthis word from the mid…
sixteenth century.
22.Burke 1997, p.130.
23.For an account ofthis entertainment, see Verberckmoes 2002, pp.53…56.
24.This question is addressed in my article, Festive Peasants before Bruegel:
25.In this connection can be mentioned a large table [presumably a panel
Agricola 1971.Agricola, Johannes.
L.Gilman.Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.
Alberti 1966.Alberti, Leon Battista.
On Painting
, translated by John Spencer.Rev.
ed.New Haven: Yale University Press.
Bell 1999.Bell, Rudolph M.
Chicago: University ofChicago Press.
, edited by W.L.van Helten.Rotterdam: J.H.
Chaucer-Benson 1987.
, 3rd ed., edited by Larry D.Benson.
Boston: Houghton Mi‰in Company.
Coigneau 1980…83.Coigneau, Dirk.
Farrell 1995.Farrell, Thomas J., ed.
Bakhtin and Medieval Voices
.Gainesville: Uni-
versity Press ofFlorida.
Van der Feen 1918.Van der Feen, G.B.C.Noord-Nederlandsche Boekerijen
in de 16de eeuwŽ (part 1).
The Art ofLaughter in the Age ofBosch and Bruegel
.Twelfth Gerson Lec-
ture, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, 20 November 2003.Groningen: The
Gerson Lectures Foundation.
Gilhus 1997.Gilhus, Ingvild Saelid.
Laughing Gods, Weeping Virgins: Laughter in the His-
tory ofReligion
.London: Routledge.
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Rotterdam…New York 2001.Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen;
Bebel, Heinrich, 21, 115
Berghe, Jan van den, 128
Bernuy, Fernando, 198n34
Beuckelaer, Joachim,
87…88, 107,
Bible, 15, 37, 56, 76, 107, 112, 113, 114,
124, 163n8, 181n57, 189n10, 208n4
Boccaccio, Giovanni, 23, 37, 184n84
Bodin, Jean, 107…8
230n13; Jonghelincks collection
Labors ofthe Months
3, 7, 74, 107, 192n37, 208n5;
Massacre ofthe Innocents,
74, 147, 149, 187n100;
Comedy, 1, 54, 56, 125, 173n83,
Farces; Fools;
Humor; Jest books; Jokes; Laughter
Commercial relations, 7, 9, 78…79,
Commissions, 7, 13, 47, 74, 75, 83, 141,
Conduct books, 17, 86, 145…46, 165n20,
Coo,, 218n2
Coornhert, Dirck Volckertsz, 80
Costumes, 10, 70, 77, 98…99, 108,
Cotgrave, Randle, 31…33
Council ofBlood, 230n14
Council ofTrent, 175n2
Country residences, 78…86, 151, 154,
Dance ofdeath, 7
Dance offolly, 72, 101
Dances, social, 69, 77, 81, 87, 88,
90, 96…97, 98, 109, 155, 189n10,
204nn84…86, 217n87; Bruegels
depiction of, 7, 64, 68,
Davidson, Jane P., 228n70
Death, 6, 7, 8
Delen, A.J.J., 177n15
Delevoy, Robert, 46
Demons, 34, 36, 125, 131, 136, 144,
Dene, Eduard de, 146…47
Des Périers, Bonaventure, 18, 167n31
Devil(s): in Behams art, 135,
Bincks art, 135,
; in Boschs art,
29; in Bruegels art, 31, 35, 36, 141;
in Hopfers art, 135,
135, 178n27; in Ryckaerts art,
; in Sachss writings,
135…36; in Tenierss art, 143,
144; women as associates of, 131…
33, 135, 219n10; women as relatives
of, 131…33, 222…23n29; women in
con”ict with, 129…31,
134,136…38, 143…44,
143…44, 148,
Didacticism, 1, 31, 41, 43, 62, 178n27,
Diercx, Volcxken, 142, 227n62
106…7, 108, 117, 154, 208n5
Dinners: Bruegels depiction of, 7,
75, 88, 96, 102…3,
117, 118…22,
Floriss depiction of,
jovial behavior at, 111…16, 154;
107…8, 154; Pourbuss depiction
of, 108…9,
quoted at, 117; religion discussed
at, 108, 112, 114; Saenredams
meanor at, 108…11, 112, 113, 114,
120…21, 154; De Zeeuws depic-
Doesborch, Jan van, 146
41, 44,
147, 158n15, 159n24,
; and urban-
rural relations, 78, 86…91, 94…
95, 98, 104…5, 151, 156, 204n83,
205n88; Valckenborchs depiction
Fischart, Johann, 15
Floris, Frans, 47,
Hemessen, Jan Sanders van, 48,
50…51, 204n82
Henri IV (king ofFrance), 152
Heyden, Michiel van der, 59, 78, 154,
Landsberger, Jacob, 56
Landscapes, 7, 68, 74, 78,
192n40, 194n7, 196n25
Last Judgment, 8, 16
Laughter: commodity of, 12, 24, 146;
and conduct books, 17, 145…46,
165n20; critique of, 15…17, 145,
164…65n18, 164n10; and grotesque
art, 30, 31; as human attribute, 15,
17, 145, 163n5; and jest books, 21…
23; and melancholy, 19…20, 23, 24,
30, 145, 146, 168…69n42, 172n75;
and moralization, 12, 22, 37, 52,
of, 18…20, 145, 146, 167n34; and
Bruegels art, 1, 11…13, 35, 37, 43,
104, 110, 124, 148…49, 154; and
reception ofMassyss art, 52; and
reception ofWeiditzs art, 38;
plays, 24…27, 172n75;
and religion, 15…16, 37, 163…64n8,
17, 23, 162…63n2; and women, 20,
Laureysz, Vincent, 189n10
Leemput, Trijnje van, 225n49
Melancholy, 19…20, 23, 24, 30, 112,
145, 146, 168…69n42, 172n75
Menander, 72
Middle Ages, 6, 7, 9, 16, 29, 37, 112,
131, 145, 146, 163n8, 176n3,
Miedema, Hessel, 15, 110, 161n47,
162…63n2, 162n50, 187n100,
182n68, 222n27, 227n64
Molckeman, Aert, 10, 11, 15, 27, 31, 77,
Molenaer, Jan Miense, 55
194n9, 197n26, 198nn29,31
Monogrammist MT, 138,
Monsters, 29, 35, 136, 141, 160n41,
169n44, 176n2, 218n2, 221n20,
Montaigne, Michel de, 97, 99
Montano, Benito Arias, 113, 211n43,
212n48, 215n76
Moralization: and Bruegels art, 1, 12,
37, 148, 154; depiction ofvice used
for, 55…56; laughter used for, 12,
22, 37…41, 52, 146, 170n62, 175n95,
229n6; and Massyss art, 52; and
morality plays, 9, 24, 37, 157n3; and
147; and Verbeecks art,
Morreall, John, 229n7
Moucheron, Pierre de, 110
Müller, Jürgen, 6, 7, 157n4, 159n24,
Murals, 10…11, 161n48
Muscatine, Charles, 212…13n58
Musical instruments, 90…94,
111, 202nn66…69, 203…4n82
Muylle, Jan, 161n47, 175n2, 184n85
Mythology, 76
Narr, Klaus, 23
Narrenschiª (Brant), 39…40, 92, 128,
142, 146, 179n31, 228n66
Niclaes, Hendrick, 6…7
Noirot, Jean, 67…69, 74…76, 77,
79, 80, 105, 106, 107, 116, 123,
Noot, Jan van der, 85, 86, 108, 216n81
Orenstein, Nadine, 217n85
13, 47, 70, 72…73, 75, 76, 96, 103,
108, 190n28, 192n40, 212n48
Ovid, 122, 193n44, 217n87
Panofsky, Erwin, 4, 6, 28, 159n16
Paterson, Henry, 112
Patinir, Joachim, 150
Patronage, 7, 10, 13, 73…74, 75…76,
141, 151
Paul, Saint, 108
Pauli, Johannes, 21
Paumgartner, Magdalena, 226n58
Peasants: Aertsens depiction of, 51,
87, 99; Baltenss depiction of,
26, 90, 99; Beuckelaers de-
27, 56, 146, 172nn76,78; Devil por-
women portrayed in, 130, 218n6,
223…24n35; morality, 9, 24, 37,
157n3; mystery, 131;
27, 146, 179n36, 209n20, 218n6;
ofShakespeare, 132
Pleij, Herman, 20, 146, 147, 178n25,
Pliny the Elder, 2, 3, 189n14, 217n87
Political relations, 9, 127, 176n10
Popham, A.E., 2, 4
Popular culture, 15, 97, 127, 155, 163n4,
Portraits, 68, 80, 83, 96, 99, 102,
107, 109…11, 112, 151, 152,
185…86n90, 186n92, 187n96,
189n11, 210nn24…25
Pottagie van rijs,
Pourbus, Frans, 108…9,
Hieronymus Cock, 7, 8, 9, 10,
33, 41, 76, 78, 142, 148, 180n53,
217n85; Volcxken Diercx, 142;
Alberts Elias, 58; Claes Jansz
Visscher, 58
Prints: ofBarthel Behams art, 149;
ofSebald Behams art, 149; ofVan
der Borchts art, 150; ofBruegels
art, 7, 8, 9, 10, 33, 41, 58, 81, 89,
147…48, 180n53; ofFloriss art, 76;
ofGoltziuss art, 115,
; ofVan
Meckenems art, 132; ofWeiditzs
Property relations, 78…86, 151,
Proverbs: collections of, 117…18, 126…
28, 133, 139, 214n71, 226n54;
French, 139, 214n72, 215nn74…75,
226n54; German, 214n71, 226n57;
hellish women as subject of, 126…
28, 130, 133, 142…43; and
(jest books), 41; literal
depiction of, 40…41, 124;
146…47, 148
Religion, 1, 4, 6…7, 8…9, 147; and bib-
seigneurial relations, 78…86, 97,
self-control, 15, 166n24
Songes drolatiques de Pantagruel,
Vives, Juan Luis, 15, 16, 108, 146, 154,
Vorselman, Geeraert, 112
Vos, Jan, 228n71
Vos, Marten de, 108, 209n15
Vosterman, Lucas, 186n91
Vredeman de Vries, Hans, 10…11,
Vries, Lyckle de, 57, 157n4, 185n90,
Vuile bruid,
121, 216…17n83
Wangermée, Robert, 204nn84…85
Webster, John, 164…65n18

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