Friday, 14 November 2014

What's this Lucas van Valckenborch?














Years ago, when I worked in London, I had this huge painting in my office. Not the original, of course, but a very large print. It hung on the wall in pride of place and was the first thing that caught the eye of anyone coming in to visit me.

Unfortunately I cannot make it any larger here, because, believe me, it needs to be full size to be better appreciated.

I believe the painting is called September 1585. I can't find any other title, perhaps that's when it was painted by Lucas van Valckenborch, a Flemish painter who lived between 1535 and 1597.

When I started this series of posts about art, the intention was to show various masterpieces which I classified as somewhat unusual or "odd" and see the humourous side behind the work of art. This particular painting is not "odd" in the sense of the word, but I found it at the time somewhat unusual because of the great details that it encompasses.

Look for example at the forefront in the left - people are bringing in a harvest of apples or fruit, and someone is trying to sell them to the two people by the table.

Behind the two men there's a horse drawn cart, a gathering of people and children playing in a circle.

Behind the cart there's a castle scene where people in a boat are trying to catch something hanging off a rope - another sport I suppose.

Then there's the landscape in the background with the castle, the trees, the clouds and the birds in the sky.

In the foreground, there's a feast being laid on a table surrounded by hungry people; and some people playing a game with a ball and a circle.

It's as if every bit of this huge painting is a scene in itself worthy of its own frame as a work of art.

Many a time at work, when I had a difficult managerial problem to solve, I stood infront of this painting to try to clear my head for a moment or two. I'm quite pleased that I have now found it and post it here for you to enjoy.

One thing though ...

I never worked out what that man on the extreme right facing the wall is doing. Any ideas?

14 comments:

  1. Well...you know...they didn't have indoor bathrooms in those days ;)

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    1. You know Mary, many a time at work, that man in the far right of the painting was an inspiration to me when I had too many coffees and did not know what to do.

      God bless you.

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    2. I think I'd better explain, Mary ... I did not do it in my office!

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    3. Ha!Ha! I knew what you meant :)

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  2. What an interesting painting. I've never seen it before. Seems like a Sunday afternoon outside the castle. The man on the far right? Hmm, perhaps counting his money and not wanting to let the world know. If he's going to the bathroom, his wife just came out and is going to yell at him.

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    1. It is a very interesting painting Manny. I spent many a time admiring it in my office. I never thought the man was counting his money. I always thought he was playing hide and seek and was counting up to 100.

      God bless.

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  3. Fascinating painting Victor. Thank you for sharing.

    Clearly the man on the right is huddled over watching soccer on his iPhone. The sun makes it hard for him to see the screen, which is why he is facing away and shielding his device. And clearly, he wasn't allowed to watch the game inside ... which is why his wife is storming out of the house to see why he isn't taking care of his chore list.

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    1. Michael this is the best and most credible solution to a question which has been puzzling me and many art experts for years. I shall write today to the Lucas van Valckenborch museum in Flemishland to tell them. They will no doubt put a plaque next to the painting with an explanation in your honour.

      And to think that all this time I thought (like Mary) he was doing something naughty with his device.

      God bless you, Michael.

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    2. Good one, Michael! Clearly that is what is going on here!

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    3. Michael, it is really nice of YA to try and defend this old man but the truth is and "IT" is the truth and nothing but the truth cause sinner vic told me so and we all know that he is a god... anyway on his way to the soccer game this old man happen to past two teens with their mother and one of the teenager said to his mother, mother this old man has his sipper undone... the other boy said that's right Madam... should we not tell him so... the woman just looked and said, "Don't Worry Bout "IT" cause What Can't Get Up Can't Get Out!...

      Long story short, he was just checking to see if his peter was still there...

      WHAT! WHAT! WHAT?

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    4. WHAAAATTTTT ?????

      Must have been a cold day.

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  4. Actually Mary, I'm not sure what's more feasible. Your take on things, or Michael's explanation.

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  5. Well, Michael's is certainly more polite ;)

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    1. Agreed ... but don't let that stop you from commenting in your own unique way.

      God bless you for that.

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