BRUEGHEL, Jan the Elder
(b. ca. 1568, Brussel, d. 1625, Antwerpen)
The Sense of Taste1618
Oil on panel, 64 x 108 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid
This painting belongs to a series representing the Five Senses.
Many of Brueghel's paintings include a view in the background, through colonnades, of gardens and stately homes, creating the impression of extensive manorial landed property, as in this painting devoted to 'gustus' (taste). Fish, fruit and hunting trophies are piled up in the foreground and behind them, parallel with the top and bottom edges of paintings, we can see a lavishly set table with swan and peacock pies, a bowl of oysters, crayfish and fruit. In front of the table, at an angle, there is a dessert bowl full of sweets. The personification of Taste is being served wine poured from a jug by a Satyr.