Tuesday, 25 February 2020

de strijd tussen vasten en vastenavond

For this Marti Gras, we are given an object lesson on the cusp of the shifting seasons in the form of the composition called The Fight Between Carnival and Lent by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (see previously) painted in 1559. The ceremonies, one raucous and the other serene and reserved, also signalled the shift in cuisine and palette from a time of abundance to privation reinforced by social conventions and Christian iconography, and although we may not be privy to a coherent and linear narrative, there’s much allegory to be found in the details.
Tuesday’s procession is led by a fat man astride a huge beer barrel with a pork chop hood ornament whereas Ash Wednesday’s float, piloted by the Lenten Lady, is laden with mussels, waffles and pretzels, dietary staples of the Netherlands and the time until Easter—underscoring how Lutheranism did away with fasting but still permitted its annual lead-up. Learn more about the details and symbolism from My Modern Met at the link above.