HALS, Frans
(b. 1580, Antwerpen, d. 1666, Haarlem)

Married Couple in a Garden (detail)

c. 1622
Oil on canvas
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

The detail shows the Italian landscape background on the right - a sunlit villa, marble statue and spring - whose purpose was to create the impression of elevated rank and dignified elegance. However, the background features are fanciful, bearing no relation whatsoever to the real world of the couple. Rather than the couple's country residence, scrutiny of iconographical details shows the villa to be the temple of Juno, the goddess of marriage, whose attribute was the peacock.

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