It’s April Fools Day again as you will know when someone plays a ‘prank’ on you which you don’t find funny but have to laugh at otherwise you will be a bad sport…… I had a look at what I had written about this ‘hilarious’ day last year, and got a bit of a surprise – ‘Fools rush in after 12PM and then feel a bit foolish’. It includes a bit of Folklore, poetry and a dead fairy!
Dutch artist Hieronymus Bosch painted a whole ship of fools between 1490 – 1500. The painting shows these people wasting their lives away in various trivial and worthless pursuits. the painting is a fragment of a triptych and has the Allegory of intemperance at the bottom.
The Fool as depicted in the Tarot cards, is always on a journey, carrying with him in his knapsack innocence and wisdom. He heads out into the world or on a creative path with only his instincts – he is a free spirit.
Frans Hals the Dutch painter (1580 -1666) painted his jovial Buffoon with lute in 1623 24 (also famous for his ‘Laughing Cavalier’ whose eyes follow the viewer and Hals’ painting of the Cavalier’s intricate lace collar. I like the way that Hals uses smears and splodges giving his surfaces a roughness. Van Gogh himself was quite a fan. He wrote to his brother Theo:-
‘What a joy it is to see a Frans Hals, how different it is from the paintings – so many of them – where everything is carefully smoothed out in the same manner.’
Having looked again at Hals again, I am inclined to agree with him. What a great artist this man was. I think I really do need to do a piece about this old Master.
I was quite taken by this expressive painting. It’s called ‘April Fool’ and is by American musician and artist Marilyn Manson. Manson started his artistic career selling five-minute concept water colours to drug dealers.
The ship of Fools Hieronymus Bosch information here
Interesting Hans Holbein alphabet Dances of Death here
Jester statue from here