Monday, November 30, 2015

Time Travel - A Magpie Tale

"The Kitchen Scene with Jesus, Martha and Mary in the Background."
This painting was chosen by Tess for this week's Magpie Tales: Mag 296. Go there to find the contributor list.

Joachim Bueckelaer (ca. 1534-1575), was a Flemish painter. In this kitchen scene he followed the earlier tradition of higher and smaller for further away. For clarity and ease of painting, the distance also had to be to one or the other side of the main figure. He had much religious symbolism in his earlier works and less in his later works. That this work has religious symbolism indicates it probably is earlier.

Time Travel

(In those days no one
knew perspective, put distance
higher than the front,
smaller and fuzzy,
puzzling perhaps why stuff won't
show quite right.)

Poor girl
has broken her arm.

As for me, I take my ale
in local pewter,
a tankard given
in affection by the Duke
of Antwerp. I will
soon see if the girl
is as delicious as all
the produce she tends.

‎November ‎30, ‎2015 6:26 AM

Take a course in art history if you haven't. You will see I am quite right about draughting before perspective. It is also why we still sometimes have slanted stages, high in back and lower in front when we try to match the earlier European dramatic traditions. The idea of vanishing points placed somewhere in the background of a drawing is a convention known and understood by some but seldom used before 1400 AD or so, and then not widely.


  1. It is interesting how 'they' always juxtapose their content for the meal with the intention on finding how 'sweet' the cook taste, hmmm.

    1. This is hardly a mystery, though I suppose women find it tedious. I make no apology for my biological heritage even though the care and maintenance of a penis is sometimes complicated.

  2. I'll be waiting to hear all about it...nice take Christopher...

    1. But see my reply to Berowne below concerning theater. My mother majored in Speech and Drama and was competent as an actor and a director as well. This created my interest in knowing more about such things as stage positions and history. My first thoughts about a college education was to follow in her footsteps but that intent morphed into Philosophy and Psychology as I matured. Even so, I ended up a professional in the Engineering trades and working in industrial settings such as paper mills, lumber mills, in consulting offices, and in industrial food factories such as cookie and cracker bakeries.

  3. Interesting; picture was painted about the time Shakespeare was born.

    1. While many if not most stages in the middle ages were raked in the fashion I describe (and opera may still call for a raked modern stage), it seems the Globe had steeply raked seating instead, and its main stage was what is called a thrust stage into the audience area, creating a stage resembling what we call theater in the round. If I remember correctly, the closest audience had to stand around this thrust stage and may be the source of the phrase "standing room only". The original Globe theatre was open to the sky and it pushed into a large circular yard surrounded by three tiers of steeply raked seating. Here is the site my info comes from:

    2. This means the perspective was handled in the reverse manner as the most important audience looked down on the main stage, creating a similar illusion of down stage and upstage. Those terms too, it seems comes from the raked stage, where the closest players to the audience were literally lower down on a raked theater while farther players were placed at a higher elevation. The reason upstaging is a thing in theater is that the lower nearer actor has to turn his back to the audience as well as being placed in an inferior position on a raked stage.

  4. tsk tsk . . . and please do report!


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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