Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Quentin Metsys - The Moneylender and his Wife

Quentin Metsys (1466-1530) - The Moneylender and His Wife (1516)
France Stamp issue 2008 
The Louvre, Paris

The majority of Metsys' work depicts the life of merchants in Holland during a prosperous time in their history - this painting was completed when the artist lived in Antwerp at a time when the city was a trading hub for the Spanish and Portuguese.  The people in his paintings are usually depicted in indoor scenes, where there are clear indications of wealth - however, the paintings do not openly show extravagant wealth, as was usual for this time in Holland.  Religious overtones, include the scales of justice behind the subjects, providing insight into the ultimate judgement that each person must face.  The mirror and book on the table are completed to a high level of realistic detail.

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