(b. 1576, Mechelen, d. ca. 1633, Amsterdam)

Elderly Fisherman with a Girl

Drawing, 253 x 226 mm
Institut Néerlandais, Paris

In Dutch literature, fishing conveyed a variety of conflicting sexual associations ranging from impotence to coitus. In the visual arts, the pastime (which is mostly depicted in book illustrations) likewise connotes carnality. Such is the case with this drawing, in which an elderly yokel and his much younger companion both reach for worms conspicuously located in a box between his legs; clearly their interests extends well beyond angling.