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"Feast/Festival of Fools" print engraved by Pieter van der Heyden after Bruegel, after 1570

"Feast/Festival of Fools" print engraved by Pieter van der Heyden after Bruegel, after 1570

Lucas van Leyden (Netherlandish, Leiden ca. 1494–1533 Leiden). A Fool and a Woman, 1520. Engraving

Lucas van Leyden (Netherlandish, Leiden ca. 1494–1533 Leiden). A Fool and a Woman, 1520. Engraving

c. 1637, after Pieter Nolpe: 'Floraes Gecks-Kap' (Flora's fool's cap). A satire on Tulipmania, people who had invested in tulip bulbs; in the centre a tent in the shape of a fool's cap, background right, the figure of Flora departing on a donkey, peasants joyfully bending over a basket with a crop of tulips and tulip bulbs, peasants carrying tulips and transporting earth, bulbs and tulips in a wheel-barrow, figure of a devil brandishing a rod with fool's cap and paper bonds

c. 1637, after Pieter Nolpe: 'Floraes Gecks-Kap' (Flora's fool's cap). A satire on Tulipmania, people who had invested in tulip bulbs; in the centre a tent in the shape of a fool's cap, background right, the figure of Flora departing on a donkey, peasants joyfully bending over a basket with a crop of tulips and tulip bulbs, peasants carrying tulips and transporting earth, bulbs and tulips in a wheel-barrow, figure of a devil brandishing a rod with fool's cap and paper bonds

etched by Werner van den Valckert (d. 1627/8) -- fool with miniature fool erupting from his sleeve. "de zot uit de mouw laten kijken" [to let the fool peep out of one's sleeve] was a 16C Dutch idiom meaning, 'to behave like a fool'

etched by Werner van den Valckert (d. 1627/8) -- fool with miniature fool erupting from his sleeve. "de zot uit de mouw laten kijken" [to let the fool peep out of one's sleeve] was a 16C Dutch idiom meaning, 'to behave like a fool'

Engraved by Karel van Mallery 1593 [context for previous] -- the Prodigal Son is ejected from a brothel -- fool makes abusive gesture at him [as first noted by Rohrich in LSR s.v. Nase]

Engraved by Karel van Mallery 1593 [context for previous] -- the Prodigal Son is ejected from a brothel -- fool makes abusive gesture at him [as first noted by Rohrich in LSR s.v. Nase]

Fool with a Girl Looking Through Her Fingers. Werner van den Valckert (1585-1627) Met Museum

Fool with a Girl Looking Through Her Fingers. Werner van den Valckert (1585-1627) Met Museum

The earliest known nose-thumb ['lage Nase' (long nose) in German] in a Genealogy of Christ roll written c.1230 in Soest. Two of the dscendants of Ham appear to be quarrelling -- the African (note stylised tight curls) thumbs his nose at an Egyptian who is raising his finger in a warning/telling-off gesture. From Mellinkoff [see next for ref.]

The earliest known nose-thumb ['lage Nase' (long nose) in German] in a Genealogy of Christ roll written c.1230 in Soest. Two of the dscendants of Ham appear to be quarrelling -- the African (note stylised tight curls) thumbs his nose at an Egyptian who is raising his finger in a warning/telling-off gesture. From Mellinkoff [see next for ref.]

the double 'cheek-screw' (1545) -- detail of previous. Who is the gesture directed at? Note that the 'action' of the print as a whole is based round the young woman (bottom left) stealing the older man's purse. Is our gesturer registering to the rest of the company  that he has spotted something going on? In modern times it seems to be only one hand that is used to make the cheek-screwing gesture, so that the modern significance may not be the same as this 16C double version.

the double 'cheek-screw' (1545) -- detail of previous. Who is the gesture directed at? Note that the 'action' of the print as a whole is based round the young woman (bottom left) stealing the older man's purse. Is our gesturer registering to the rest of the company that he has spotted something going on? In modern times it seems to be only one hand that is used to make the cheek-screwing gesture, so that the modern significance may not be the same as this 16C double version.

Sight from the "Quinque Sensuum Figurae" engraved by Crispijn de Passe in Cologne, c.1599. Here he has cleverly contrived to show to the viewer not the expected face of the young Frenchwoman who looks into the mirror but the owl that sits on the shoulder of the 'fool' (and, of course, there is a further play on the rebus-name of the German trickster figure Eulen-Spiegel [Owl-Glasse in English]. AND in addition, note that she makes a concealed 'horns' gesture directed at him.

Sight from the "Quinque Sensuum Figurae" engraved by Crispijn de Passe in Cologne, c.1599. Here he has cleverly contrived to show to the viewer not the expected face of the young Frenchwoman who looks into the mirror but the owl that sits on the shoulder of the 'fool' (and, of course, there is a further play on the rebus-name of the German trickster figure Eulen-Spiegel [Owl-Glasse in English]. AND in addition, note that she makes a concealed 'horns' gesture directed at him.

companion piece to next -- woodcut print ny Hans Hanberg dated 1568 via BM website. Note the trompe-l'oeil fly on the fool's cap -- more of which anon. The two medals worn by the fool read HANS HANBERG VAN COELLEN (giving the artist's name and place of residence, Cologne), and DER SEIDENSICKLER WAPEN ANNA [sic] 1568 [Arms of the Silk-Embroiderers Anno 1568] -- Hanberg's newly discoivered album [SEE 3 IMAGES RIGHT] shows him to have been also a silk-embroiderer

companion piece to next -- woodcut print ny Hans Hanberg dated 1568 via BM website. Note the trompe-l'oeil fly on the fool's cap -- more of which anon. The two medals worn by the fool read HANS HANBERG VAN COELLEN (giving the artist's name and place of residence, Cologne), and DER SEIDENSICKLER WAPEN ANNA [sic] 1568 [Arms of the Silk-Embroiderers Anno 1568] -- Hanberg's newly discoivered album [SEE 3 IMAGES RIGHT] shows him to have been also a silk-embroiderer

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