VOS, Simon de
(b. 1603, Antwerpen, d. 1676, Antwerpen)

Allegory of the Five Senses

Oil on copper, 55 x 72 cm
Private collection

In this allegory the five senses are represented as a merry company. Hearing is embodied by the playing musicians, Taste by the flagons of wine, Sight by the lovers gazing into each other's eyes, Smell by the dog or pipe smoke, and Touch by both the central girl's contact with the musical instrument and the contact between the lovers to her left. The pyramidal, Mannerist composition, the rich colours and elegant twisting figures are all motifs typical of De Vos' work. The influence of Johann Liss, whom the artist probably met first in either Venice or Rome in the 1620s, is apparent.

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