Cornelis Bloemaert II: The Wise Owl (1625)

(Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, USA)

A nice engraving by the Dutch artist Cornelis Bloemaert II (1603-1692) of an owl with several books. The text below is in Dutch and reads "Wat baet keers off bril, als den WL niet sien en Wil" which translates as "What good is candle or glasses when the owl does not wish to see.". It is an old expression which means that it is useless to advice someone if he does not want to listen. The book on which the owl is sitting has a page on which the text "It concerns profit" is written (T'is omt profyt') while the Bible on the right has the text "Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not steal". engraving from 1625.

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