Copy after Cornelis van Dalem: The Bakery of Eeklo (1550-1650)

(Muiderslot, Muiden, The Netherlands)

The subject of this weird painting is a 17th century Dutch legend. If you were not satisfied with your head you could go to a baker in Eeklo. The baker would remove your head and put a cabbage on the empty spot as temporary replacement. The head would be reshaped by the baker to its desired form and baked in the oven. The new head would then be put on the body again. but people should be careful. If the head was baked for too  shot you would be a 'half-baked person' (Dutch: ‘halve gare’) If the head  was in the oven for too long you would be a 'hothead' (Dutch : ‘heethoofd’). If the process failed you would be a 'failure' (Dutch: ‘misbaksel’). The morale of the story is that you better be satisfied with your own head. This painting is from 1550 – 1650.