Le Ieu Royal de Cupidon (1630)
(collezione A. Seville)
Detail from the Persephone sarcophagus. 2nd.century A.D Roman.
Flemish painter Pieter Bruegel the Elder excelled in depicting daily life and often created visual allegories in paint through the combination of activities and objects. While most of his paintings require the viewer to interpret the allegories through careful observation and knowledge of Flemish idiomatic expressions, a series of twelve wooden plate paintings each include a phrase to assist in deciphering the allegory. Can you figure out what the following proverb means?
Whatever I do, I do not repent, I keep pissing against the moon.
(Vat ick vervolghe en geraecke dar niet aen ick pisse altyt tegen de maen)
Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Pissing Against the Moon, 1558, oil on panel. Musée Mayer van den Bergh, Antwerp
"Pissing against the moon" essentially means wasting one’s time in futile activities. So on this Saturday, will you be pissing against the moon?
Michael Valentini - Iris Angustifolia (1719)
feeding by preying on other animals; predatory, used especially with reference to insects.
Etymology: ultimately from Greek harpago-, harpag-, meaning “a hook for seizing; a robbery, rape, seizure, plunder” + -phagia, from phagein, “to eat”.
Albrecht Altdorfer. Penitent Saint Jerome. 1507.
Small Female Figure of Painted Clay. Funerary gift. Prehistoric period, 4th Millennium B.C.
None cometh from the dead that he may tell us how they fare,
that he may tell us what they need,
that he may set our heart at rest,
until we go to that place where they have gone.
Spend the day happily and weary not thereof!
Lo, none can take his goods with him.
Lo, none that has departed can come again.
— Ancient Egyptian Poem
Robert Winthrop Chanler, 1912, Leopard and Deer, gouache or tempera on canvas, mounted on wood, 194.3 × 133.4 cm (76.5 × 52.5 in), Rokeby Collection. Exhibited at the Armory Show, New York, 1913