(Netherlandish, c. 1535–1608)
Etching with engraving
Image: 36.4 x 50.7 cm (14 5/16 x 19 15/16 in.); Sheet: 36.4 x 50.7 cm (14 5/16 x 19 15/16 in.)
Carole W. and Charles B. Rosenblatt Endowment Fund 2021.143
Catalogue raisonné: New Hollstein No. 172
Just as today, the couple receives gifts from wedding guests; here, a clerk at the table counts coins while a line of guests wait their turn to present gifts including a salt cellar, stool, candleholder, stockpot, butter churn, distaff, bellows, tongs, and pots.
This 1560 etching by Antwerp artist Peeter van der Borcht is an important part of a tradition depicting peasant fairs, customs, and scenes of daily life with origins in the Low Countries in the 16th century. The protagonist of this expansive scene is the bride, who is seated at the table in the center of the composition. She sits with her arms crossed, wearing a placid expression. There is no food or drink at her table despite the plentiful victuals around her. According to Netherlandish custom, the bride was not permitted to eat or drink until the arrival of the bridegroom, which traditionally took place in the evening.
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