Went along to the Vancouver art gallery this weekend to check out their latest exhibition: Vermeer, Rembrandt and the Golden Age of Dutch Art Masterpieces from The Rijksmuseum
Quite a decent exhibition and they had a lot more on show than I thought they would have. For example I hadn't come across this one in quite some time: Woman at her toilet by Jan Havicksz.
The below was taken from the Rijksmuseum website.
A young woman is sitting on the edge of her bed and removing a stocking. Marks left by the stocking are visible on her legs. There's a chamber pot on the floor and a dog lies sleeping on the cushion. It seems quite an innocent scene perhaps, but for an seventeenth-century audience the erotic references in the painting would have been immediately obvious.
Red stockings, chamber pot and candlestick: symbols of lust.
Red stockings, true love? The average contemporary of Jan Steen would have seen straight away that this was not the everyday action of an innocent young woman. 'Kous', the Dutch for stocking, could also mean the female genitals or a (loose) woman. Expressions such as 'she's darning her stockings' were frequently used to refer to the sexual act. In that period, a woman with red stockings was a prostitute. The half-filled chamber pot on the floor also refers to 'loose' women: a 'piskous' was another word for slut. And the message was reinforced by the discarded slippers, the dog and the candlestick on the chair: here these are all symbols of lust.
Thinking about doing a self portrait based on the above.
Red and black stripy socks, Spiderman mug and a big paintbrush: symbols of lust.
In the BG my monitor could be showing some porn, just to help sell the whole "lust" thing! I'll put my cat on my lap (possibly shaven...) and in my hand I'll have a red pencil and on my sketchpad I'll be scribbling a lovely Tulip! The Spiderman mug will be tipped over and have emptied its contents of milk onto the floor. Discarded slippers, some cacti and a couple of half eaten peaches may also be strewn about for added effect.