SCHALCKEN, Godfried
(b. 1643, Dordrecht, d. 1706, Den Haag)

Man Making an Obscene Gesture

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Etching
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

The grinning man in old-fashioned clothing, depicted in this etching, makes the gesture known at that time as "the fig": the thumb is placed between the forefingers in mock imitation of coitus. The etching is inscribed "Quam meminisse invat" (Memories are such a delight), a reference to his fondest sexual liaisons.