Friday, March 24, 2017

Vrancx - winged horse

let us hope the winter is over, but feeling a bit sinister  I would like to return to the winter pleasures  of the olden days, as these scenes were painted by our good Flemish friend Sebastian Vrancx.

ergo, Master Sebastian painted more than a few of canvasses showing Low Countries citizens engaging in some simple and others more complex  winter pleasures, including the art of driving a horse-draw sleigh.
It appears from the images that driving was done on ice a lot,  since very little snow covered the landscape of the cities and towns (when compared with the Central and Eastern Europe of the XVII century) and perhaps driving over the frozen canals was quite a pleasure and thrill - the British historian Simon Schama's  book 'The Embarrassment of Riches' provides plentiful  information on the daily lives and pleasures of the citizen and visitors in the Low Countries during that period (caveat! be forewarned - :) -   Daniel Snowman (2004),  "Simon Schama". History Today. 54 (7): 34-36, wrote about Schama's writing that it was "packed with evocative detail: rich fruit cakes crammed with raisins, currants, nuts and glacé cherries all.")

I especially like this 'winged' horse

'taken' from this canvass
 The harness used for the 'winged horse' looks a bit like the Old Polish arrangement. Perhaps one of the traders brought it back from Gdańsk while on the trading mission in the Baltic port.


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