Crusie’s Guide to Art 13


You know when I was throwing these together years ago, I didn’t research any of the actual art, but I was pretty close to dead on for this one. It’s “The Matchmaker” by Gerrit Van Honthorst, also sometimes called “The Procuress” (1625) and the woman really is pleased that he’s admiring her lute (which it turns out is a symbol of the female genital region) because she’s hoping he’ll open that purse in his hand and pass over some coin in return for access to her instrument. The chiaroscuro in this all but says, “Check out these boobs” and the lute is just the second verse.

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6 thoughts on “Crusie’s Guide to Art 13

  1. ‘Chiaroscuro’ is a delightsome word. I read it somewhere not long ago & went down a fun little worm hole discovering what it meant.

    Humans are so ridiculous sometimes. Back in that day women were shunned for indecent behavior & at the same time pressured to wear fashionable gowns that put their boobs on display & at risk of popping out of their bodices.

    Crazy.

  2. Ha! I only got the first half of this post (up to the first parenthesis) and thought “music is not what she’s selling.” So much about this is suggestive! The lighting, their hands for gosh sakes, and the leering procuress in the corner. No one was fooled by the title of “The Matchmaker.” Wink. Wink. Nudge. Nudge. Indeed.

    Chiaroscuro is one of my favorite words from college. As is concupiscent, which also applies. (Yes, I was the word-nerd with a notebook of words to look up later.)

    1. I like chiaroscuro, too. I had a reproduction of Rembrandt’s The Man With the Golden Helmet in my home for years. I also like the word I learned in docent class at Tohono Chul Park in Tucson: crepuscular. It denotes a tendency to come out at twilight, (and also dawn). Vampires are crepuscular, as are owls, bats, and many small mammals, that are prey. The desert has many crepuscular creatures, due to daytime extreme heat.

      1. There’s a beautiful old apricot rose named ‘Crepuscule.’ One of my favorites.

  3. I think I had a chiaroscuro once at Taco Bell. I don’t think it was any good, since I never had it again. The girl in the drive-though looked just like the painting.

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