Laziness by Peter Brueghel

Laziness by Peter Brueghel

The work is an impression of an engraving on paper using gray-brown ink. The dimensions of the engraving are 214 × 296 mm. In the lower left corner, authorship is indicated – “P. brueghel. Inuentor”, in the lower right corner is the date of the imprint and the name of the publisher – “H. Cock. excude cum gratia et priuilegio. 1558”.

There are other prints including mirror images.

The composition of the engraving is simply saturated with the symbols of laziness – sleeping idlers, slowly creeping animals, snails, scorpions, slugs, devils and chimeras.

In the center of the composition there is a woman lying on a donkey, below her signature – “Laziness”, that is, it is a personification of vice. Pillow woman supports the devil, which symbolizes the Dutch proverb “Laziness – a pillow of the devil.”

Near the clock without arrows a giant is depicted that uses a water mill as a latrine – this is an illustration of an obscene saying – “He is too lazy to get to a latrine”. Dice refers to the killing time in the tavern, laziness reminds and watches without arrows – the rest of the motives are mysterious.

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