|Butcher’s Stall with the Flight into Egypt, 1551, Pieter Aertsen|
The religious and the genre scenes from the painting above, seen at left, are nearly lost in the overwhelming detail of the meat stall. One can al-most smell the raw meat.
Although the painting is often referred to as The Butcher's Stall or simply The Meat Stall, the correct title, Butcher’s Stall with the Flight into Egypt says a lot about the ambivalent nature of the "rules" (or lack of them) during the Northern Renaissance, which extended well into the latter years of the 16th-century. Aertsen was mixing genres, something later Dutch artists decided was very much against the rules. During the following century, religious painting came to rest at the top of the content pyramid; still-lifes were several layers below that, and what we've come to call genre painting (the depictions of peasant life) was at, or near, the bottom. Seldom did they meet. As one can plainly see in examining Aertsen's composition, he had it all (as we Americans sometimes say) "bassackwards."
|Aertsen apparently knew his limitations and considered self-|
portraits one of them. The detail figure at left is problematical.
The engraving is by Hendrick Hondus.
|Aertsen's original version is at the top, his biblical depiction relegated|
to the background while the peasants and their vegetable market
dominates most of the scene.
|The Apostles Peter and John, 1575, Pieter Aertsen|
|The Adoration of the Magi triptych, 1560, Pieter Aertsen.|
|Martha Preparing Dinner |
Cooking Birds, Pieter Aertsen
|Christ at the House of Martha and Mary, 1553, Pieter Aertsen|
|Market Scene, 1560-65, Pieter Aertsen|
|The Egg Dance, 1552, Pieter Aertsen|