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Gustus | Taste

Part of the collection: Dutch and Flemish graphics

Popularization note

The engraving presents a genre scene from the life of a Dutch peasant woman, who is sitting in front of a low, simple cottage on an earthen bench, with her four children. She is cradling her infant child, breastfeeding. Older children, a boy and a girl, are sitting next to her, accompanying a little boy who is drinking from a clay jug. In front of the girl there is a basket of food, probably holding dinner for their father who is working in the field. The woman’s simple, long dress with tight sleeves and a stand-up collar, unbuttoned at the top, reveals both of her breasts filled with milk. She is wearing a turban wrapped from a scarf or a bonnet. The older children are wearing hats with a narrow rim elevated over the neck. On the left, a distaff – an attribute of womanhood – is leaning on the bench, a jug and a mug on the floor. The family is probably about to work in the field, as the door to the cottage in the background to the left is closed. Behind the house there is a tree, whose crown is towering over the thatched roof. The meaning of this figurative scene is revealed in the title – Gustus – written beneath. It is the allegory of taste. Number 3 in the bottom right corner means that the artwork is the third in the series of engravings which are allegories of the five senses: sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell. The author of the engraving, Frederick Bloemaert (around 1614-1690), born and died in Utrecht, studied in the family art workshop of his father. He worked as an engraver and draftsman. He collaborated with his brother, Cornelis II, and Crispijn de Passe II. He created series of engravings on allegorical topics, genre scenes, human types. Together with his brother, they painted a series of portraits of archbishops and bishops of Utrecht. He illustrated Fondamenten de Teecken-Konst, a popular book for the training in drawing. His prints were published by his father’s printing house and by Nicolas Visscher in Amsterdam. Ewa Gwiazdowska

Signatures and inscriptions:

  1. Inscription: 3.
  2. Inscription: Gustus
  3. Seal (mark);inscription: M.P.Z. | Szczecin | Dział... | Nr... 440

Information about the object

Information about this object

Author / creator

Bloemaert, Frederik (około 1614-1690)

Object type

chalcography (print)


copper engraving


ribbed laid paper

Origin / acquisition method


Creation time / dating

between 1632 — 1670

Creation / finding place

powstanie: Utrecht (Holandia)


Muzeum Narodowe w Szczecinie

Identification number


Location / status

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