Cornelis Massijs: Two couples in a tavern (1539-1544)


(Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

An engraving by the Flemish artist Cornelis Massijs (1508-1556). The print shows a couple of people in a tavern with a jester on the right. The two peasants, apparently they are on the way to a market in order to sell their merchandise, are amusing themselves with food, beer and some girls. By doing so they don't notice that one woman is stealing money from the purse of 1 peasant. Another woman is busy with stealing the eggs from the basket of the peasants and puts them is her apron. The jester on the right is laughing at the stupidity of the 2 peasants and the Dutch text below the print is probably said by him: 'Tis Hier Goey Vente Laet Druck Verslaen / Dwort Al Vercocht Eert Voort is Ghedae" which translated means something like "the merchandise is already gone before the peasant have received their money". Interesting detail is the small print on the wall: it is a farmer who is sitting on some eggs in order to hatch them and some chickens and a rooster. The small Dutch text below the small drawing reads: " Tis den huyse een groot v[er]drie[t] // Daer de hi[nne] crayt e[n]d[e] // [die hane niet]" - translated this means "To great dismay the hen is crowing in this house and not the rooster", in other words - beware the power of a woman because it can ruin a man. Engraving from 1539-1544.

Comments