Theodoor de Bry: A dovecote with flying jesters (1596)

(Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

An engraving by the Flemish artist Theodoor de Bry (1528 - 1598). This print belongs to the set called "Emblemata Saecularia", a set of about 48 emblems. This print shows two women at a dovecote which is filled with jesters. One woman is sifting men, the other is fishing in the pond. The Latin text at the bottom reads "SIC ABEUNT REDEUNTQ. ALIAE DE MORE COLUMBAE" - "The pigeons come and go according to her habit". In other words: the women are to picky in their choice of men with the result that 'only the fools are left for them to choose from'. Engraving from 1596.