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The Ill-matched Lovers (oil on panel)

The Ill-matched Lovers (oil on panel)


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The Ill-matched Lovers (oil on panel)

697865 The Ill-matched Lovers (oil on panel) by Oostsanen, Jacob Cornelisz van (1470-1533) (studio of); 49.5x35.9 cm; Private Collection; (add.info.: Also know as A Trader of Glasses
Jacobs setting of the pairs in a jewellers shop with the foreground couple engaged ostensibly in purchasing spectacles is presumably designed as a direct pun on the Dutch brillen verkopfen, which means both to sell glasses and to fool through deception.); Photo eChristies Images; Dutch, out of copyright

Media ID 23294210

© Christie's Images / Bridgeman Images

Adultery Bribe Bribing Contrast Courting Courtship Cuckold Deceit Deception Early Renaissance Femme Fatale Folly Fool Glasses Gossip Gossiping Grotesques Guise Ill Matched Inappropriate Jester Jeweller Lascivious Lover Moral Morality Odd Couple Persuading Persuasion Play On Words Scandal Scandalous Seduction Seductive Spectacles Suitor Trader Wily Lovers Northern Renaissance Unsuitable


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EDITORS COMMENTS
The Ill-matched Lovers" is a captivating oil painting that transports us to the bustling interior of a 16th-century jeweler's shop. Created by Jacob Cornelisz van Oostsanen, or possibly his studio, this early Renaissance masterpiece measures 49.5x35.9 cm and belongs to a private collection. In this intriguing scene, we witness an odd couple engaged in what appears to be the innocent act of purchasing spectacles. However, upon closer inspection, we discover that the artist cleverly plays with words and moral ambiguity. The Dutch phrase "brillen verkopfen" serves as both a pun on selling glasses and deceiving through trickery. The contrast between youth and age, seduction and morality is beautifully portrayed here. The lascivious female lover entices her unsuitable suitor while gossiping merchants observe their scandalous courtship unfold amidst metalwork and jewelry displays. Through intricate details such as grotesque figures adorning the walls and a jester playing music in the background, Oostsanen captures not only the folly of ill-matched love but also societal intrigue and deceit. This Northern Renaissance gem invites contemplation on themes of wealth disparity, inappropriate relationships, bribery, and deception within society. It serves as a reminder that appearances can be deceiving even in matters of love. "The Ill-matched Lovers" continues to captivate viewers centuries later with its wily portrayal of human nature during the 16th century – an era marked by beauty, scandalous affairs, and subtle persuasions hidden behind guises.

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