Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras

In preparation for Shrove Tuesday, we are reposting last year’s entry.

CARFLEO

Peter Breughel the Younger’s “The Battle of Carnival and Lent”  In the foreground, two opposing processions, the one to the left led by the replete figure of Carnival and the one to the right by the haggard figure of Lent, are about to confront each other in a burlesque parody of a joust. Here, on either side of the picture, are feasting and fasting, winter and spring (the trees to the left are leafless, those to the right have leaves), popular jollity and well-ordered charity, the ill-famed tavern and the church as the refuge of the pious soul. Whilst the father's work was not lacking in humour, the son's emphasises the encyclopaedic aspect: the many scenes accompanying the Peter Breughel the Younger’s “The Battle of Carnival and Lent” In the foreground, two opposing processions, the one to the left led by the replete figure of Carnival and the one to the right by the haggard figure of Lent, are about to confront each other in a burlesque parody of a joust. Here, on either side of the picture, are feasting and fasting, winter and spring (the trees to the left are leafless, those to the right have leaves), popular jollity and well-ordered charity, the ill-famed tavern and the church as the refuge of the pious soul. Whilst the father’s work was not lacking in humour, the son’s emphasises the encyclopaedic aspect: the many scenes accompanying the “battle” are all ceremonies or customs attached to the rites of carnival and lent, which succeed each other from Epiphany until Easter. One intriguing element for which no satisfactory explanation has yet…

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