The Raree-show (’t Fraay Curieus), Willem van Mieris, 1718
The old Dutch title (in parentheses) refers to the cries ‘beautiful!’ (fraai) and ‘extraordinary!’ (curieus) with which itinerant performers announced themselves. Here a performer shows a wooden triptych with characters from a chivalric romance, while undoubtedly recounting the tale to those gathered around. Willem van Mieris was a ‘fine painter’, meaning that he rendered the scene in a highly detailed and refined manner. The painting is actually also a kind of peepshow.