Thursday, October 21, 2010

Meat Still Life

Painted by Pieter Aertsen in 1551, this painting overwhelms audiences with its plethora of hanging raw meat and the crowding on the canvas in general. There is so much to take in that one can easily overlook the human activity occurring in the background. Through the doorway on the left, one can spy the Virgin Mary fleeing to Egypt after the birth of her Savior son, Jesus. It is said that the man back in the tavern on the right is actually the prodigal son. The hanging pretzel and the mug are presumed to be representations of the communion feast. And finally, the overpowering of these strikingly realistic images is said to speak to one of the seven deadly sins, gluttony, and the blinding quality it can have on one's devotion and recognition of God's work in the world around them.

1 comment:

  1. Hello, I am linking this ability to view the material world with clarity and honesty to Machiavelli's "Re-al Politik" terseness of seeing for what they are rather than what they should be. Our meatiness in meals and politics, our dealings with the complex reality of living while others die, some win, and others lose and the shades contained within these false dichotomies.