VENNE, Adriaen Pietersz. van de
(b. 1589, Delft, d. 1662, The Hague)
Wat Maeckmen Al Om Gelt ("What One Does for Money")1627
Oil on panel, 27 x 19 cm
The witty phrase on this panel translates in full as: What does one not do for money, said the peasant as he saw a monkey sitting on the window sill (Wat maakt men al om het geld, zei de boer en hij zag een aap op het venster zitten). While the precise meaning is no longer known, this proverb seems to have been popular in the 17th century, and Van de Venne returned to the theme on other occasions.
Van de Venne's monochrome oil paintings on panel are universally referred to as grisailles although in this case it is actually in shades of brown (brunaille).