Dear readers, Thanksgiving has come once again. That glorious day of the year when the whole family comes together to scarf down in half an hour a feast that took 15 hours to prepare, and then fall into a food coma in front of the TV. Thankful!
Previously for Thanksgiving I wrote about the Bean Feast by 17th century Dutch painter Jan Steen. This year, I will write about a Bean Feast by 17th century Flemish painter Jacob Jordaens, because apparently 17th century Bean Feasts were pretty wild affairs. Although Jacob Jordaens didn’t approve of drunkenness, and his version is like 200% creepier.
|The Feast of the Bean King – Jacob Jordaens, 1640-1645 (Source)|
So the first thing that catches the eye is this classy guy.
He cares enough about his own garments to keep his cap from falling into his own pool of bodily fluids, but no one seems to notice or really care that he is vomiting on that little girl’s dress. The woman next him is looking over in a sort of “Ha ha, oh Jan, you need to learn to hold your liquor” sort of way, but that’s about the only reaction.
Casting the eye up the way, we spot this amorous couple.
My first thought was “Oh my God, he is going to crush her jaw with his bare hand!” But she seems to be enjoying herself, so maybe Creepy Men With Face Mutilation Fetishes are her thing.
Behind them is this gentleman who seems unfamiliar with how to smoke a pipe.
To be fair, I have never smoked a pipe either, so perhaps I am unfamiliar with the mechanics. However, I feel like people I have seen with pipes usually do not have their heads thrown back, necks bulging, and chins puckered when they partake. Sherlock Holmes would be a much less picturesque character to illustrate with his cheeks puffed like a starving squirrel and eyes rolled back into the next postal code.
Other fun partygoers include Doghat McAngryface….
…And this man, who from a distance, I thought might be foaming at the mouth.
It turns out he’s just about to happily spit out all of his teeth. There are a lot of sloppily raised arms there, so it would not surprise me if he just got landed with a powerful uppercut with a pint glass.
Speaking of raised things, I’m sure this is meant to be a cut of meat, but it sure looks like he’s about to deep throat a spent balloon or other soggy elongated rubber tubular object. But whatever it is, he is going to swallow it with gusto.
Drawing attention back to the other side of the painting again, this mirror on the wall caught my eye. It’s got the back of the head of the woman looking over at the vomiting man in amusement, and the bonnet of the little old lady behind her. But also featured is….
THAT TERRIFYING FACE BEING STRANGLED. It looks like an even creepier version of that woman having her jaw crushed above, except that person is facing the same direction as the two women who have the backs of their heads reflected here. I guess the artist just really liked painting strangulation/face crushing, so physics be darned, he was painting it again. However, maybe it’s just me, but there is something about a ghostly disembodied head with a grotesque soulless smile over a murderous hand in the mirror without an obvious source that makes it extra terrifying.
In conclusion, 17th century folks seemed to know how to have a rollicking feast. I think the figure I identify with most in this painting, though, is this guy.