Sebastian Vrancx (1573-1647): A Feast in an Italian Villa, c. 1620

Sebastian Vrancx (1573-1647), A Feast in an Italian Villa, c. 1620. Oil on wood. 72 x 106.5 cm. KMS1059
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Guests are arriving for a party. In the foreground a gentleman has just dismounted, chivalrously greeting a noble lady. To the right a chamber orchestra plays in front of a fountain crowned by the goddess of love, Venus, accompanied by Cupid. Occupying prominent positions on the ground are a lute and a cornett (a curved wind instrument). Behind the musicians a troupe of actors are making an entrance. In the park a long table has been laid out for a feast in an open pavilion, and a wet nurse is nursing a child on the stairs.

Paintings of this kind are known as fête galante motifs. The theme originally sprung from depictions of the biblical narrative about the prodigal son, and it would often incorporate moral warnings against drinking and fornication.

Updated: 26.apr.2018
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