The Fête champêtre, Dirck Hals, 1627

The Fête champêtre, Dirck Hals, 1627

oil on panel, h 77.6cm × w 135.7cm. More details

The 17th-century public would have delighted in this amusing spectacle. At the same time, viewers would have been aware of its hidden message: there is more to life on earth than eating, drinking and merrymaking. A telling detail is the chained monkey: it stands for sinful man, who allows himself to be fettered by his base instincts.

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