Pieter Aertsen: The Egg Dance (1552)

(Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

This interior scene by the Dutch painter Pieter Aertsen (1508-1575) of a brothel shows a young man doing a so-called egg dance. While dancing to the bagpiper he had to roll an egg within the chalk circle and cover it with a wooden bowl - without breaking the egg. The whole scene (the ‘pointless’ amusement and the dissolute behaviour of the other figures) serves as a moral warning against debauchery. Painting from 1552. 

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