Paintings of 1559
This painting includes a total of 112 Natherlandish proverbs in a single scene. The proverbs are taken literally. For instance, “To crap on the world” is literally represented as a person crapping on a globe. The depiction is on the left corner of the picture where a man in red clothes is coming out of a window. Artist of the Flemish renaissance from 16th century, Pieter Bruegel the Elder was known for similar works, which included The Seven Deadly Sins, The Months, Big Fish Eats Little Fish and The Blind leading the Blind. Pieter Bruegel the younger, the artist’s son had depicted more than 20 versions of the paintings. Here is one of them.
One of the period’s most inventive portraitists came from Cremona. The noblewoman Sofonisba Anguissola created wry and witty portraits of family members and acquaintances, a subject largely imposed upon her by societal restrictions on female access to models and patrons. Sofonisba’s painting of her teacher, painting her portrait – a story within a story – demonstrates how she negotiated her male-dominated world. Anguissola’s gaze rivets the viewer of the painting, forcing consideration of what appears to be the inscribing of male authority on the body of the female. Campi’s gaze complicates matters, however, since as he paints he, too, looks out of the painting toward what the picture indicates must be his subject, Anguissola. Thus the viewer in front of the painting plays a double […]