(German, active 1450–67)
Plate: 23.5 x 15.8 cm (9 1/4 x 6 1/4 in.); Sheet: 23.8 x 16.5 cm (9 3/8 x 6 1/2 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 1993.161
Catalogue raisonné: Lehrs 215
Master ES’s action-packed scene presents a love garden before a landscape with knights playing jousting games. Love gardens were locales for displaying chaste love, but the behavior here, such as touching and wine drinking between couples at the table, indicates that their love is rather more physical. A traveling poet at the door brings musical enticements, and a man with a fool’s cap in the foreground signifies lust. The many birds throughout the scene refer to coupling, since “birding” was a euphemism for the sex act.
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