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Symbols, Emblems and 'Double-entendre' in Dutch Genre Painting

The merchants of seventeenth century Holland filled their town houses with paintings. A favourite subject was scenes of everyday life: depicting behaviour both good ... and bad.

But these upright Calvinist citizens rejected Catholic Baroque melodrama. They wanted nothing to alarm the in-laws, offend the guests or corrupt the children. Instead, innocent objects hint at adult themes: lap dogs and plucked chickens, lutes and virginals, oysters and artichokes, foot warmers and bed warmers.

This is a world of subtle hints and double-entendre, spoken through a language of symbols, emblems and motifs. Join me to explore the hidden meanings in everyday scenes and become a fluent reader of 'Double Dutch'!