QUENTIN METSYS, THE MONEY­LEN­DER AND HIS WIFE (1514)

The Simple Things - - THINK -

There’s an am­bigu­ous mes­sage in this de­pic­tion of an An­twerp money­len­der and his wife. Is his wife be­ing lured away from her study of the Vir­gin and Child by worldly riches? Or does her reli­gious book pro­vide some moral ground­ing against greed? What­ever the rea­son, the tiny fig­ure in the red hat – per­haps the artist – that can be spot­ted in the con­vex mir­ror in the paint­ing’s fore­ground is also read­ing a book. © Musée du Lou­vre, Paris, and Thames & Hud­son Ltd

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