Tuesday, September 01, 2009

The Bean King

"The Bean King" Jacob Jordaens (1593-1678) did a number of these painting of "the bean king" and his court. If I'm not mistaken, the "king" was an employer who threw a "bean festival" for his employees, which generally involved everyone getting drunk. There are a number of these images of groups of drunks, in which they're supposed to look grotesque. The problem is they always look to me like they're having a lot of fun. It's the same problem in It's a Wonderful Life- when Jimmy Stewart gets to "Pottersville" and it's a bunch of gin joints, the place looks like a lot more fun than the town he came from.

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