Jan Cornelisz Vermeyen: The Spanish brothel (1545)

(Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

An engraving by the Dutch artist Jan Cornelisz Vermeyen (1500-1559). Vermeyen was a court painter for the Spanish crown and traveled with Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and during his travels he probably saw scene's like these. The print depicts a brothel with dancing girls on the background and an old woman is tracking the expenses. A man on the left is being seduces by a young girl who at the same time is robbing him of his purse. the two other male customers are responding rather passionately: the old man is protruding his tongue as a sign of disbelief while the man on the right makes a gesture with his fingers that he is blowing out the air in his cheeks as a sign of pretense. The text below reads "Thus the Spanish love takes the money by love; thus picks the foolish lover fake kisses. Engraving from 1545