Category Archives: Bacchanalia

‘Vomiting quietly in the corner’

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A Merry Christmas to readers of this blog, who I hope will end up as merry — indeed, as hog-whimpering drunk — as I have happily become this festive season. This is a reproduction of De koning drinkt (1638; Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels). Jacob Jordaens is known, Dalrymple points out, ‘for his acres of canvas covered with depictions of unattractive fat flesh and Bacchanalian drinking scenes. These usually include someone vomiting quietly in the corner while an obese, grog-blossomed king wassails away in the middle of the picture’

Jordaens’ representation of spewing is very human, but the best part is the woman wiping the child’s fundament, presumably bemerded, though no trace of ordure is shown — unlike in, for instance, Dalí:

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Salvador Dalí, Jeu Lugubre (detail), 1929, private collection