On "Suelling" the Hips and Crossing the Legs:

On "Suelling" the Hips and Crossing the Legs
hazardous operation quiókly disappears. Indeed,
seems quite likely that it was those same ambitious plaJls, the parents' wish to prepare their
children for promising careers, that had made
them so alarmed about Constantijn's neck. During most of the earþ modern period, it was one
of the most important requùements that wellmannered people keep their bodies and their
heads erect. The elite had to know how to move,
not only ûguratively but a"lso quite literally.
Adopting an elegant and upright posture was a
central tenet of the prevailing codes of behanor.
Of course, the contemporary manners books
dea.l with many more requirements than just
that of an erect posture. For example, in his pathfinding study on the "civilizing process," Norbert
Elias particularly emphasized the rules concernins the essentia.l activities of life. He discussed
thé more psychoanaÌytically significant prescdptions about urinating, defecating, or hiding one's
nudity and also the lesser ones about blowing the
nose, sneezing, coughing, or spitting, in short,
all those activities which "we share with the animals," as the author of one of the most important
manners books, the Frenchman Antoine de
Courtin, explained. However, the manuals are
much richer than Elias, from his strongly Freudian point of leew, suggested. Generally speaking,
they established codes of behavior, if only among
the elite, for all sorts of "relations in public."3 In
fact, the insights and explanations set forth in
these treatises constitute an early, though already highly accomplished, example of the study
of nonverbal communication. Thus, many of the
manuals deal at length with phenomena, such
as posture, gesture, facial expression, or even
"paralingual phenomena" (the pitch or intensity
of the voice). Attention to such details, so readers
were told, was a prerequisite for "conversing
agreeably," and for successfully moving in the
upper waìks of life. To explain the rules, the authors included all sorts of blunderc and faux pas.
We may rightly say that the manuals are teeming
with all the larger and smaller social mistakes
that for our own society were analyzed so carefully (and almost lovingly) by Erving Goffman.a
On "Suelling" the Hips and Crossing the Legs:
Distinguishing Public and Prfuate in Paintings and Prints
from the Dutch Golden Age
Hrnlr¡N RooorNeunc
An Unwilling Little Neck
1632, Constantijn Huygens and his wife,
Suzanne van Baerle, noticed much to their alarm
that the head of their eldest son, Constantijn
Jun., irclined a bit to the left. The boy was then
four years old. At first, the parents decided to
refrain from interference, though the mother
had considered the possibility of bringing the
child to a "famous peasant," probabÌy a boneset
ter, in the village of De Rijp. For the moment,
the parents turned to other, more gentle methods. They gave the boy a stiff collar, attached ribbons to his bonnet, and also steamed his little
neck. It was only in 1637, when all these efforts
had proven to be of no avail, that Huygens declded to have his son operated on by a physician
from the city of Utrecht. It was probably not a
very pleasant experience. The doctor made an
incision two rnches long in the poor boy's neck,
separating (according to his own report) the
many entangled sinews there and greasing the
whole machinery with some oil.r
It is a weird and rather dismal storv. but there
is no reason to doubt its veracity. I hâve taken it
from Huygens's own notes on the childhood and
adolescence of his children. The charmins little
anecdotes contained in these entries and also the
parents' feelings, their love and concern, seeing
their children grow up, make these recollections
one of the most vivìd and imÞortant documents
in the histoïy ol Dutch l-amily Life. We learn. for
example, about the illnesses of the children and
the apprehension of their parents at such mo-
ments. We also learn about the frßt cautious
steps of the children, the first words they uttered,
their early presence of mhd, and their first lessons il reading, writing, Latin, mathematics,
and music. Clearly, Huygens had ambitious
plans for his children, especially for his sons, who
received a broad, humanist training, prepadng
them for professional careers in the highest circles of the Dutch Republlc.2
Considering these high hopes it comes even
more as a surprise that the parents exposed their
eldest son to such a fisky operation. Of course,
in the years preceding the operation they had
tried other solutions. Moreover, feeling "horrified" about the "incision," Huygens had asked
the physician for a detailed description of the operation before he finally consented, but it remained a drastic intervention. Constantiin was
away from his family for months and would even
miss the birth of his littìe sister, Suzanne. Eventually, things took a very tragic turn, when tbe
mother contracted a fatal fever in childbed and
died a few months later. In the meantime. Constantijn's neck had definitely rmproved, the operation was a great success, but he would not see
his mother again. The physician had deemed it
better that he stayed in Utrecht.
The Importance of an Elegant and Upright
Täking a closer look at the events, the seeming
contradiction between the parents' plans and the
they should strive for a graceful and natural posture, a certain casual¡ess that was also stressed
by Baldassare Castiglione in hís Cortegiano of
1528.5 "It is becoming," as Erasmus explained,
"that the body is gently raised." Equally imDortânt was the wav one carried one's head: "let
.ihe neck hang noi to the left nor to the right
side," it was a sure sign of "hypocrisy." Since his
book was written for a young boy, he even added
a fatherþ admonition, "those who have become
used to holding their heads to one side grow flxed
in that habit, with the result that theu efforts to
alter it in later life are to no avall."'6
We ca¡ trace the popularity of Erasmus's book
not only in the numerous editions and transia.
tions alÌ over Europe but also in its impact on
mannèrs books published later under the ancien
régime. An interesting example is a booklet that
was published in Antwerp in 1587 and that, for
the purpose of memorizing its contents, was
written as a series of questions and answers. One
of the questrons the schoolboys had to answer
was "who are used to bend the neck to the shoulders and to rest the head on them?" The answer
was brief and to the point: "rude and lazy dreamers and those who fill their stomach so much
that they desire only to dream."7 Many years
later, in the Groot ceremonie-boech d.er beschaafde zeeden, published in 1735, the author stiÌI
cautioned his readers that they should adopt the
upright posture and thereby avoid that one s
head "was constantly hanging to one side or the
Unfortunately, it is still unclear when and, esin what tempo the rules of civiJity, of
courtoisie and citilité, were adopted in the
Dutch Republic. It has been sfessed that before
the middle of the seventeenth century hardly any
manual on civilty was translated into Dutch.
Even Erasmus's littie treatise, popular as it may
have been in other European countries, was not
widely read in the northern NetherÌands.e Judging from such data one would almost say that
the seventeenth-century Dutch, these botmuiLen
(Iit. "bìunt mouths") as they were cheerfully 1abeled by the Flemish, were hardly set on any
Erasmus's De cfuilitate morum puerilium. courtoisie or ciailité and that their manners were
published in I530 and one of the most influentiaì still as "unfeigned" arld "plain" as Erasmus demanners books of ail times, is a case in point. scribed them jokingly in his Pr¿ise of Folly of
Elias discussed this little treatise at length, but 1509. r0 We should remind ourselves, however.
Erasmus also cautioned his readers-a þoint that the elite, the classes that were most internot mentioned by Elias-that well-bred pãople ested in adopting the rules of civility, had a reashould always keep their bodies upright. Of sonable command of languages. Many of the
course, they should not exaggerate: "it is a sign regents and other wealthy cltizens read French,
of conceit to bend the body backwards." Instead, had access to the French ma:rua-ls on civility, and
could thus clisseminate the new rules amons
their tamilics and acquaintances. lndeed. theré
were many oral and extralingual channels for
learning social deportment. In the course of the
seventeenth century, it became more and more
habitual for the sons of the elite to make the
"Grand Tour." They traveled to France and Italy
and thus could observe the ruies of civility as
they were practiced by the French and Italian
elites. At the sarne time, it was increasingly more
common for the daughters of the Dutch upper
classes to attend the so-called "French schools."
There they received a general cultural education
(including learning French), but they were also
instructed in the rules of courtoisie ar,d, citilité.
In addition to these channels, there was also the
education provided by private instructors and
dancing_masters and, of course, by one's own
An early, and for us quite interesting, example
is the education that Huygens received from his
father, Christiaan Huygens.12 From i578 to
1584, this extraordinary man had served at the
court of William of Orange as one of his secretaries. It was there, so the son tells us, that he
had observed the manners "deemed proper for
young people of rank" and had apparently decided "to put this behaviour into practice at home
with his children."l3 Part ofthe lessons consisted
of teaching them the complexities of greeting
and leave-taking: "in the covering and baring of
their heads, in offering their ha¡ds, grasping the
knee, lowering the head and raising it for a candid look, and stretching the leg backwards." The
father deemed it of the utmost importance that
his children would be abÌe to move in an easy
and exemplary manner, even in the company of
their superiors: "In meeting with people of
hisher rank we were not allowed to be more nervoui than in meeting with people of equal rank,
provided of course that the standards of civility
and due respect were observed."ra
The Uses of Corsets and Physical Exercise
Before discussing other aspects of Huygens's
education, Ìet us flrst have a look at another
source that may inform us about the significance
of an upright posture. After a-ll, it was not only
the parents' consent but also the doctor's willingness to perforrn the operation that had subjected
the little Constantijn to the knife. Indeed, doctors
were quite interested in the carriage of the body
and in the furthering of a good and healthy posture. As the French historian, Georges Vigarello,
argued, it was especially from the end of the sixteenth century that the role of parents and physicians in keeping watch over a child's growth, in
molding, shaping, and sÍaightening its body,
was heavily emphasized. 15
Vigarello based most ofhis case on France, but
we can easily confir-rn his findings with a few
data from the Dutch Republic. Quite telling is a
letter written in 1733 by Count Willem Bentinck
to his future wife, Charlotte von Aldenburg. Apparently, the grl, who was then seventeen or
eighteen years old, had some probÌems with her
spinal column. For a couple of years, she had
worn a stjff leather corset that covered her body
from the hips to the armpits, but the count was
still dissatisfied with her ungraceful pose. He ad-
vised her "to carry herself upright, with her
shoulders backwards." When walking, the count
continued, "put your feet outwards, draw il your
bottom, carry your head high and lofty, throw
out your chest and let your arms hang loosely:
that is how it should be." Not surprisingly, the
marriase was not a success.16
Accoiding to the doctors, the first months of
life were aìreadv important. It was then that the
desired uprightness-should be established, especialÌy in swaddling the child. In 1636, the wellknown physician, Johan van Beverwijck, observed that the children in his counûy were
swaddled "from head to foot," because in this
way the limbs were "best protected and kept
straight."l7 CÌearly, the straitjackets that the children of the elite had to wear until they were five
or six years old served a similar purpose. In the
middle of the eighteenth century, when opposition to such habits began, an opponent commented that most mothers Þut their children into
sffaitjackets, "because it is-common practice and
also, as they say, to keep them upright and to
lend them a good posture."18 The eighteenthcentury physician, Petrus Camper, shared his
criticisms. He opposed the genera-l opinion that
little children could only develop an erect posture
with the heÌp of such appliances and he objected
in particuÌar to the stays that gfuìs had to wear
even after the age of five or six. "If the boys can
grow upright without them, why not the girls,"
he wondered. It was an "abuse" that he had
mostìy observed in the towns, particularly
"amons the rich."ls
Almõst simultaneousþ with corsets for children, women's corsets had become popular as
On "SweLLing" the Hips and Crossing the Legs
had answered that he did not understand why
the ministers made such a fuss about it. To him
it was important that his children "from early on
nated at the French court and then spread to the would get used to those things that create beauty
courts and elites of other countries.2o The in appearance and posture and make the gait eleFrench poet, Henri Estienne, spotted the new gant and unconstrained.' 30 lt is again his son
in 1579: "the ladies now use the whale- who recorded this event. In another part of his
corset," he wrote, and they do so "in order recollections, he a.lso tells us that he loved skatto keep straighter."2l From the French court and ing with his friends, for example, when the
upper classes, the corsets must have found their meadows were under water. We are subt\ inway to the towns of Flanders, where the wea.lthy formed that his skìll drew everyone's attention,
ladies were equallv known for their fondness of but also that he used to adopt "a graceful posture,
the stays.22 TLese'same Ìadies may have intro- because my father was a.lso in this sort of relaxduced the new fashion in the Dutch Republic, ation very particular about this."31
particûlarly after the fall of Antwerp in 1585,
Intêrestingly, Huygens conveyed these same
when so many refugees, even of the richest fami- attitudes to his children. We have no information
on skating, but in 1644, he provided his eldest
Iies, had fled to the north.23
Of course, a similarly,erect posture was re- sons, Constantijn and Christiaan, with dancing
quired from the sons of the elite, though most of lessons "in order that the body wâs put so much
them were freed from the corsets after the age the better into good shape."st lt is Þossible that
of five or six. Instead, they were urged to practice some thirty years earlier, the period in which
physical exercises, such as dancing, riding, or Huygens received hls own dancing lessons,
fencing, to deveÌop the desired uprightness.2a dancing and especially its importance for deLooking at the Southern Netherlands, we en- veloping good manners and a graceful posture
counter such notions in a little-known tract on were still contested. In the 1640s. however, when
the education of princes and nobles written by his own children learned to dance, most of the
Philips Marnix van St. Aldegonde. As it happens, regents' and other wealthy families must have
Marnix and Christiaan Huygens were close ac- shared Huygens's feelings. In 1643, the famous
ouaintances. which makes the contents even minister, Gisbertus Voetius, even complained
more interestins.2s It was written around 1583 that he was often fobbed off with such arguat the request of Jan van Nassau, the elder ments. The art of dancing, so many parents had
brother of William of Orange. Though the teit toìd him, would enhance the beleefthegt der mawas known to a closed circle, it was only pub- nieren. the civilitv of manners.33
lished, well after Ma¡nix's death, in 1615.26 What
stdkes one directly is Marnix's emphasis on reThe Elegance of a Swelling Hip
Iievìng mental exercise with physical exercise.
Books are important, the author tells us, but so
So far, using examples from various sources, I
is relaxation. Boys should exert their limbs and
At have tried to indicate that the carrtage of the
thereby deveÌop an elegant gait and
the same time, they should avoid "rough lump- body was far from neutral within the Dutch Reishness in mânners and appearance," as they pubbc. ln a wide range of sources. in manners
should also avoid the "shocking frivolity, which books, in medical and educatÍonal writings, in
is currentlv often in fashion at the courts of mon- memoils, Ietters, and in featises on danclng, we
have found statements suggesting that this bearchs and brinces. "28
havior, this physical "presentation of self," was
It is not unlikely that Christiaan Huygens
exhemely important to the tegent and other
one of those acquaintances who were allowed
weaÌthy families of the seventeenth and eighas
read the manuscript,
teenth centuries. As a result of the gradual
friend's ideas on the
strengthening of social hierarchy, the body was
his sons
and more subjected to a growing discipline
of manners. Compared to the dedecided
to dancing.2s
the southern Netherlands or in
the dancing
another friend, the Amsterdam minister Werner France and Engìand, this process may have
Helmichius, had reproached him for doing so, he started reÌatively late. It also seems likely that
weÌl. Unfortunately, our knowledge of its history
is still as fragmentary as that of the childrens'
stays, but it seems likely that the fasbion origi
t,uBl,rc.{ND pRrvA'f't,ì tN DUTCH CULTURÉ oF THE coLDEN AcE
the rules o| ('(ìlt'l,oisie and, citiLité, rluc t<r the
narrowcf rttr gtr ol' social distinctions p|cvailing
in thc l)rrtclr lìepublic, were tal<cr¡ somcwhat
mo|c llglrtly in compalison with thcse other
courrt|Io¡i. l]ut it is beyond any doubt that the
lulfirg cl"rsses, certainly thosc l¡r the towns of
l loll¿tnd, were keen on distaÌìcing themselves in
thclr "relations in public" lrom the lower classes.
They readily adopted tho new rules of civility,
including the formalization and stylization of
their own bodies, their physical presentation of
To the sources already mentioned, however, we
might add another interesting type of source,
that of the contemporary painters' manuals or socalleð, schilclerboeken.In these treatises, we often
encounter observations that are quite close to the
ideas we have found so far. Thev also help us
visua.lize the much-desired uprightness 1and. of
course, its opposite, a stooping and hunched over
figure), either by giving us a helpful technical
description or including a couple of illustrations.
In some instances, we even encounter remarks
on a slanting neck that remind us immediately
of the views expressed in the manuals on civility.
We have seen how Erasmus spoke of hypocrisy
and how the author of the little manners book,
published in 1587, could only think of a Iazy or
a dreamy character. The verdict passed by the
schilderboelzen was hardly less severe. In 1678,
Samuel van Hoogstraten concluded, "The head
pushed backward over the neck points to haughtiness and pride, but falling headfirst to humility,
and hanging sideways to falntheaJtedness. "3s
Four years later, his feelings were copied almost
word for word by Willem Goeree. Ffust, he stated
as a general principle that "by moving our heads
we reveal many states of our inner feelings."
Again and in accordance with the prer ¡ iling p5ychology of the time. outward traits were inteipreted as a direct and infallible indication of a
person's inner nature. For example, a head "carried backwards and stiffly on the neck" indicated
a "proud and haughty heart"; a head hanging
headfirst pointed to a "humble, meek and dejected" nature, just as a head hanging sideways
could only indicate an "unmanly faintheartedness." The addition "unmanly" makes one suspect that alÌ these observations, not only in the
schiLderboeken but also in the manners books
and other sources, applied primarily to men. As
a matter of fact, Goeree confirms this impression
when he discusses the portrayal of women and
expiains that a slightly slanting neck can only
enhance a woman's gracefulness and gentleIndeed, we should always bear ln mindan aspect that was aìready touched upon by Castiglione3T-that the rules of civiiity applied to
women were different from those apphed to men,
althoueh this difference was never to neutralize
the soCia.l distance between a weÌÌ-bred lady and
a woman from the Ìower classes. Of course, in
using the terrn "unmanly," Goeree may also have
alluded to effeminacy, at least in its seventeenthcentury connotation of the shady skirt chaser.38
Discussing a head hanging to the left, he even
speaks of an "adulterous and unchaste omen";
men like these would only have "scandalous
things" in mind. The fact that Goeree dedicated
his book to Huygens gives these observations a
curious twist. Obviously, he never knew of Constantiin's little neck.
For the moment, it is hard to say whether such
specific readings, especiaJly those of Goeree,
were generaÌly accepted. Perhaps they just remained.the preoccupations of a few intellectuals
who were versed in the classical writings on
physiognomy and reÌated subjects. It is clear,
however. that Van Hoogstraten and Goeree. just
as the authors of the manners books, attached a
negative meaning to a slanting neck. Appar.ently,
they were well acquainted with the prevailing
codes of civility and even felt that a paÌnter, in
depicting the human figure, should incorporate
these codes. Thls becomes even more aþDarent
where they discuss the whole carriage ol the
body, relating the human figure to social categories, such as status, gender, and age.
A fine example is Gerard de Lairesse's Grooú
Schilderboeh, published in 7707. According to
contemporary theory, to porffay the human
figure correctl¡ the artist had to be versed in
anatomy, physiognomy, and the principles of proportion. Another important requirement was the
knowledge of positur: roughly the techniques
which are used to lend a standing figure a certain elegance, and to embellish it \ ¡ith the sugness.36
gestion of movement.3s As De Lairesse explarns,
the body should always be rendered in such a
way that its weight would rest on one leg only
and not on both legs. He writes, "It is certain
that for the sake of standing well (welstand) all
haìting statues, be rt man or woman, may only
rest on one leg and carry the weight of the body,
never on both legs simultaneously, by which then
one hip will swell. "ao
De Lairesse was certainly not the first author
to wlite on the theme of welstand or "the srace-
On "SweLling" the Hips and Crossing the Legs
fulness in bending and turning."ar Before him, other words, in depicting this second, more culKarel van M-andea Samuel van Hoogstraten, and tured peasânt one was actuaJl; allowed to apply
Willem Goeiee had touched upon the same sub- the rules of contrapposto: the man might be
ject and had equally emphasized the "swelling" given a morë elegant and uprlght stance to disôr "swinging out" of the hip. The rules of classi- tinguish him from the other man with his short
caI contrapþosto had been more or less rediscov- and stocky posture. Still, his elegance should not
ered by Àculptors and painters prior to and be overdone. The painter had to take care, "if
including Michelangelo and Giambologna and si- some gracefulness had to be noticed, that it
multaneõusly encodèd and developed in the writ- would be equally in the peasants' way. "a7 Ths
ings of Leon Battista Alberti, Leonardo da Vincì, was especially important when some figures of
and Giovanni Paolo Lomazzo.a2 De Lairesse, higher rank were inserted among the peasants.
however, takes a special position because he went As the author put it, "if one has to put an office
into a full consideration of the social status of the holder (amptmøn) or fine citizen Çraay borger)
figures to be depicted. For example, in discussing among them," tlis rnan 'lgught_ to be known
contrapposto, he caurioned hls readers that as a among them all by his well-b¡ed gait and civil
rule they should never render peasants in this manners."a8
way. Before him, Van Mander had already made Besides these rules in the handÌing of contrapan exception for the portrayal of old age. If an posto, De Lairesse a.lso established other rules
old man or woman was depicted standing, they regarding posture and gesture, including the difshouÌd hold onto something.a3 In general, Goeree ferent ways of sitting (sitting erect or hunching
pointed to the old, sick, and weak: it would be over) or holding a spoon, cup, or glass (usilg two
ilsky for such people to rest theil weight on one or three fingers or using one's whole hand, etc.).
hip only. If they did not need a caÌìe or "third Obviously, it wouìi lead u-s -too far_ afieÌd to go
Ie[," they would definitely need their two legs.aa into all these details as wel], but it should be eviIn fact, De Lairesse is not so much ilterested in dent that there were many correspondences bethe physical defects of the peasants but ii their tween the instructlons of the schilderboehen and
sociãl defects, in their "boorishness" or lack of the numerous rules of civility as they were encoded in the manners books. Historians and a¡t
As a rule, he states first that a painter should historians have seÌdom written on this interestalways portray his figures in accordance with ing interface, but the authors themselves were
their state, office, or dignity. He can express such well aware of the analogies. Van Mander, in dÍsdifferences in their "posture, being, color and cussing the portrayaì of women, explicltly removement."45 Peasants, for example, should have ferred to Castigìione;ae Lomazzo, in dealing with
their feet firmly on the ground. De Lairesse the unbecoming posture of crossing the legs,
knew, of course, that they had a range of social referred to a well-known manners book by Giodistinctions and individual characteristics, that vanni Della Casa, published ln 1558.'s9 De Laithey hardly dispÌayed the same gait and posture. resse even pointed to the civility one could
Intèrestingly, hè goes on to explain that painters observe in the streets and other public spaces.
can exploit such differences, especially in intro- He urged his readers not to move in thef own
circles only. They should also mingle with the
ducing variety in the rendering of a crowd.
To make himself clear, De Lairesse included a upper classes, with the deftige gezelschappen. Of
couple of illustratrons showing men and women course, not every painter had access tbere, but
from various social backgrounds. Using one of then they could always use thetr eyes: in church,
these prints, he tells us that a "rude peasant" not in the theater, or on making a promenade. There
only sioops but also "rests and stands simultane- they had enough opportunity to see fraage lieden
ously on both legs, the toes being parallel to one and to watch theù elegant manners. Before he
another, the knees somewhat bent and the feet himself was accepted in those circles, he always
turned inwards." In the same prlnt, he also used to carry a notebook ald seeing, for example,
showed a "better educated" peasant, a wholly dif- afraaye juffer pass by, he would analyze why she
ferent man: "The other one stands upright, rest- looked to him more graceful than another one.5r
ing his body most on one leg . . . , the other leg It is rather surprising that the problem of how
sìiþhtty turned, a bit more to the front, and the to nsualize social distinctions was only raised _in
stomaòh pointing slightly outwards; displaying a 1707 when De Lairesse's schilderboeh was frnally
more graceful posture than the flrst one,a6 In published. Indeed, for many decades, such pænt-
On "Swelling" the Hips ancl Crossing the Legs
-. -,. t
_,., t
Adriaen van Ostade, Festiae Peøsøøús, 1630s, Mauritshuis, The Hague.
ers as Adriaen Brouwer, Adriaen van Ostade, Jan
StandíngMen ønd, Worøøn, from Gerard de Lairesse, Het groot schililerboek (Lmster'
dam, 1707). University Library Amsterdam.
Mrense Molenaer, or CorneÌis Dusart had put on
canvas what De Lairesse so much later was to
put in writing. Obviously, as one of the most
Drominent adherents to French classicism he
was hardly an admirer of their work. They
depicted lÍfe "as it is ptesented to them"
or. even worse. "one sees them imitate it even
more unsightly than nature created it."52 Clearly,
Brouwer, Van Ostade, or MoÌenaer (Bamboccio is
another one of De Lairesse's targets) did not adhere to any hoger trant. They did not render LÍfe
at its most elegant, but that does not alter the
fact that in applying contrQ.pposto or rather in
nof applying it in the depiction of peasants, they
had created a pictorial tradition upon which De
Lairesse could fa.ll back in his discussions of posture and gesture.s3 After all, in many of their
paintings, we almost never encounter any upright postures. Most of the figures depicted are
stocky and hunched over even when sitting,
and most of them twist theil heads to all sides.
Van Ostade's Festiue Peasants is a case in point.
The comic effect of a-ll these stooping peasants
is heightened by the remarkably high ceilngs. A
sardonic viewer might even wonder what these
silly men and women were afraid of.
Even when peasants were depicted standing,
their postures were invariably nonerect. The
man at the front of Van Ostade's Shaters is a good
example. First, he keeps "both his hands at his
arse," a gesture that was deemed "more boorÍsh
than respectful." in the words of Goeree.sa Second, he has planted both his legs firmly on the
ground. For him no graceful "swelling of the
hip," no contrapposto; this is unmistakably
De Lairesse's "crude" and not his "better educated" oeasant.
Of cóurse, Brouwer and Van Ostade were not
the first painters who played these jokes on the
peasants. One of the best examples of the distlnctions involved âre two drawings attributed to
On ",Swelling" the Hips and Crossing the Legs
Theodorus de Bry, A Court Døncø, end of the 16th c., Rilksmuseum, Amsterdam.
Theodorus de Bry, A Peasant Dance, end of the l6th c., Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.
Adriaen van Ostade, 'The Skaters': Peasants in an lnteríor, 1650, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.
Theodorus de Bry and dating from the end of the
sixteenth century. The frrst one shows a court
dance and the second a countrv or Deasant
dance. ln the first. the Êgures are aìmosi static.
elegantly upright, and almost fully vertical in
posture. By. conhast, the second shows a group
of violentÌy swfuling figures, whose movement
tends almost to be horizontal. We can even discern a couple of bare women's legs among the
dancers. A-lmost the same comþarison mav be
made with Lwo later examples. the Dancing'Lesson by Pieter Codde, dating from 1627 and the
On "Swelling" the Hips and Crossíng the Legs
Jan Steen, Doncìng Peqsøn¡s, ca. 1646-48. Mauritshuis. The Hague.
Pieter Codde, The Døncíng Lesson, 1627, Musée du Louvrg Paris.
Dancing Peasants by Jan Steen (ca. 1646-1648).
Looking for such contrasts, other painters, such
as Hans Bol, Jan van de Velde, or David Vinckboons, spring to mind. In some cases, the elegant
Þostures of the rich were even contrasted in
ã single scene with the stooping postuïes of
dumb peasants.ss An enlightening example is
a tide þrint taken from one of the editions of
Bacchu-s Wonder-werchen, written by Dirck Pier
ersz. Pers.56 The prÍnt (of which the etcher is
unknown) shows us both rich and poor crowding
round the as-ever-rnerry-looking god. To the left
we see the rich, easily recognizable both by their
expensive clothes and their elegant "swerving
out of the hip." To the right, we see the peasants
and the poor. Their dress is simple or shabby,
and they keep their feet firmly on the ground.
As with all caricatures, these peasant scenes
certainly contained a grain of truth. Farrnwork
was hard and strenuous, straining the body to
the utmost. However, when we compare this pictorial fadition with the ideals of elegance and
uprightness as they were expressed in manners
books, medic?l and educational writings, in the
schilderboehen, and other sources, we rather suspect that these scenes offer us more than a caricature of lower-class life. Intentionally or
unintentionally, they show us the exact opposite,
a convincing mirror image of the elegant manners required, at least in public, from the Dutch
upper classes.5T To put it differently, the postures
we encountered in many seventeenth-century
paintings were far from neutral.ss On the conûary, the expressiveness, the "feeling value," as
I have terned it, of these particular symbols must
have been d.irectlv accessible
On "Szuelling" the HiPs and Crossing the Legs
Public and Private: Trvo Pictures of
Wealthy Haarlem Merchant
In the previous pages, we approached the manners books primarily as documents written for
the elite. Concentrating on just one aspect, on
the importance of an elegant, upright posture,
we have seen how the manners books can enìighten us on the ways in which "high" and "low"
were visualized in many seventeenth-century
paintings. In doing so, we have concentrated especially on the negative examples, the type of
behavior that was deemed unseemly for any wellmannered man or woman, in short, for every
member of the elite. We have also seen how the
manuals on civil-ity were only concerned with
"relations in public." They dealt with the complexities of formal encounters, not with those of
a more informal and private nature, which, of
course, raises the question of whether these
same manuals, in mentioning behavior that was
deemed improper in public, might not also inform us on the elite's behavior in private. In other
words, if a painter could select some specific postures and gestures as social markers, as a sort of
shorthand to indicate high and low, could he also
dispose of specific postures and gestures to mark
:;, ,.,:..:..:,,
,{non., Title-piint taken from Dirck Pietersz, Pers, Bacchus Wond¿r-øercken: Waer ¿tu het Recht Cebîugck en Misbrugck dps Wíjns iloor oerschegilen oermaecWíjcke, eerlijcke en leerlijcke hìstorien øort øfgebeehl (Âmsterdam, 1628),
University Library Amsterdam.
the dividing lines between public and private?
This is a diffrcult question, as so often with
questions of public and private, but let us concentrate on one posture only, that of crossing
one's legs. In fact, this was one of those acts that
was condemned in a-lmost any manners book.
Erasmus aJready disapproved. In his eyes, it was
a posture only to be associated with "rude people."se Della Casa took a similar view and, as
mentioned previously, was referred to by Lomazzo when this author advised his readers
never to paint a highborn person with his legs
crossed. Again, h the Goede manierlijche zeden,
the little manners book published in Antwerp in
1583, the posture was caÌled."ugÌy" and deemed
more befittins to the so-called stouuers or cattle
drivers.60 Muih later, in the Groot Ceremonieboech, it was still condemned as behavior that
no gentleman should dispÌay.61 Of course, a lady
would not even think of doing this.
It is interesting to compare these condemnations with two portlaits of a Dutch gentleman,
the Haarlem merchant Willem van Heijthuysen,
oainted around the middle of the seventeenth
century by Frans Haìs. The first portrait. in
which we see the man standing, is a perfect example of elegant contrapposto. He is standing
upright, stretching one leg forward, and really
flaunting his swelling hip. This ls obviously a
wo4lhy member of society. However, the smaller,
second portrart is definitely the more interesting
of the two. It shows Van Heijthuysen not only
rocking on his chair, a posture that we rareþ find
in portraiture of the period, but also with his legs
crossed. In other words, this prosperous Haarlem
citizen had himself depicted by Frans Hals in an
"ugiy" and very ungentlemanly way. Or was it
not that ungentlemanÌy? Should we not consider
the well-known fact that postures and gestures
tend to be polysemous, that their meaning may
vary from one context to the other? In other
words, was this second porfait perhaps part of a
special portrait genre in which the elite could
have itseìf depicted according to other, more informal codes tha:r the ones established in the
manners books?
It is agaiiî Samuel van Hoogstraten who provides us with an interesting clue. In his schiLderboeh, he tells us that a palnter in depicting a
listening crowd may enliven it with such postures as crossing the legs, leaning the head on
the hand, and "other acts of sitting comfortably. "
Clearly, crossing the legs in the anonymity of a
listening crowd was something different than
adopting this posture in a more or less forma-l
encounter, the type of situation that was dealt
with primarily in the manners books. Indeed, it
seems plausible that crossing one's legs lndicated
first and foremost a state of comfort and relaxation, just as in our own time. In other, more
formal contexts, especially when in the company
of one's equals and superiors, it could also be
interpreted as a serious lack of respect, a blatant
breach of decorum.62
In the case of Van Heijthuysen it was undoubG
edÌy the ûrst and more inforrnal context, Van
Hoogstraten's "sitting comfortably," that was depicted. Of course, porûaits had their own requirements of decorum depending, among other
things, on the functions they fulfilled and the
location where they were hung. As it happens,
we also possess the probate inventory made after
Van Heijthuysen's death in 1650. It emerges
from this document that the large standing portÏait was hung downstairs, in rhe grote salet, lhe
official reception room of his house, but the
other, much smaller porfait had found a place
in one of the rooms upstairs.63 In other words,
the þorûaits were not onlv different i¡ size and
sub¡ãct, they had different functions as well.
Thev belonsed to different sections of the house:
Frans Hals, Willem aøn Heijthugsen, ca. 1638, Koninklijke Musca van Schone Kursten van tselgië, Brussels.
Frans Hals, Willem aan Heíjthugsen, ca. 1625, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesamrnlungcn, Nluuich.
On "Swelling" the Hips clnd Crossing the Legs
Adriaen van de Yenne, Gentlzmøn Making His Toilzt, d^te and whereabotts rrnknown.
the larger one to the pubìic, representational
Gerard ter Botch, Portrait of a Møn ín Hís Studg, ca. 1668-1669, The Lord Mayor's Residence, Mansion
House, London.
part, the smaller one to the more private and secluded part of the house. Indeed, this smaller
palnting may have been a celebration of Van
Heijthuysen's other, more infornaÌ side. The fact
that he is also hoÌding a whip and wearing spurs
might refer to his Ìove for horse riding and to the
country house where he kept his horses. Similarly, the book on the table might refer to his love
of reading. The probate inventory also mentions
a comptoir, a study or private office, where this
wealthy merchant kept some 140 books, includins 76 music books.
Interestingly, such portraits were
ceptional in the seventeenth century. A fine example is Ter Borch's Man in His Stucly. The
identity of this other worthy citizen is unknown,
but judging from the wdting desk, he was probably portrayed inhis comptoir. Sitting there with
crossed legs, he obviously felt at ease and at
home. What we may surmise is that this posture
\.vas just as much a marker as hunching over or
having both feet firmly on the ground. In this
case, however, it was a convenient sign to mark
the private sphere as different from the public
sphere with all its requrements of clvility. Another interesting example is Van de Venne's G¿ztlemøn at His Toileú. Obviously, this is not a high-
minded gentÌeman; the allusions to idleness and Roodenburg (Ithaca, N,Y, 1991), 152-89, esp. 157-64.
5. Baldassare Castiglione, ll cortegiqno (Venice, 1528).
sloth are unmistakabÌe. He is shown at a moment
It was only in 1662 that his book was banslated into Dulch;
of privacy and, as if to emphasize that moment, a second edition was published in 1675.
has crossed his less.
6. Desiderius Erasmus, De ctuilitcLte morum puerilium
Writing about the rise of the study in LíbeIIus (Basel, 1530). The book was originaìly wlitten for
seventeenth-century France and England, the the eleven-year-old Henry of Burgundy. A Latin/Dutch
was published in 1678. For a facsimi.le edition,
historian, Roger Chartier, aptly called such edition
see Het BoecLje 1)qn Erøsmus aengaende de beleeftheidt der
rooms a "retrait hors du monde, Liberté con- hinder\ijche zed.en, ed. H. de la Fontaine Verwey (Amsterquise loin du public." Here a gentleman could dam, 1969).
retire both from his professional and his domes7. The full title of ùfs anonymous work is Goede
ric life.6a It seems likely that the .seventeenth- manier\gche zeden, hoe jonghers gaen, st(len, eten, drinchcn, sprehen, swgghen, ter tafelen dienen, en de spijse ontcentury Dutch witnessed a similar development. ghìnnen
sullen, met teLe andere schoene onderwijsinghen.
Though the evidence to be gleaned from probate Ghecolligeert wt ditersche Autheuren, ende meer andere
inventories is still rather deficient, it seems that gheleerd.e Boechen, door Yraghe end"e Antwoorde ghestelt
the office where the master of the house worked (Antwerpen, 1587). I have not seen the original (perhaps
next to his clerks gradually gave way to a pdvate it has not even survived). For some extensive quotations,
office, where he could work alone and also house see G. D. J. Schotpl, Yqderlandsche tolhsboehen en tolhssproohjes tøn de troegste tijden tot het einde der 18e eeulL'
his library. Roughly from this pefiod, a comptoir (Haarlem, i874), 1: 203-10.
could both denote an office and a study. Quite
8. C. van L[aarl, Het groot cet'emonie-boech. der
often it was both.65 What we can equallv trace beschøafde zeeden, welleeaendheid., ceremonieeL en wehtoeto lhe seventeenth centuïy. to this particúlar pe- gende hoffelgkheden onderwgzende hoe een ieder ... zich
te gedrøqgen, om zich zelÐen in deeze wereld, beriod in the history of pdvacy, is a small but behoorden
mind en geluhhig te maøhen (Amsterdam, n.d. [1735]), 68,
distinct portrait genre, showing prosperous gen- 169, 171, 179. A second edition was published in 1755. Actlemen "sitting comfortably" and obviously en- cording to Irene Groeneweg, the book was only published
joying theìr private "retreat" to the full. Within in 1757; she rejects the dates provided by Dutch librades.
this genre, such painters as Ha"ls, Terborch, and See Irene Groeneweg, "Enkele aspecten van mode en
Nederland naar aanleiding van de brieven
others adopted the well-known posture of cross- kÌeedgedrag inVan
Hogendorp uit de late achttiende eeuw,"
van de familie
ing one's legs as a conventional and convenient Tþ :xtielhist orische Bij dr qg en 3 1 ( 199 1) : 60-98.
marker to distinguish the public from the
L For thls argumenl and for a general, though incompnvate.
plete, overview of Dutch manners books, see Pieter Spierenbutg, Elites qnd Etiquette: Mentø.IitA qnd" Soci( StTucture
in the Eqrl! Modern Northern Netherlønds (Rotterdam,
I wish to thank Mark Meadow, both for
correcting my
English and for offering some helpful comments.
10. Cited after S. W. Bä1, Erasmus in het Ned.erland.s tot
1617 (Leiden, i978), 250. Cf. J. G. C. A. BrieÌs, "Brabanrce
blaaskaak en Hollandse botmuil: Cultuurontwikkelingen in
het begin van de Gouden Eeuw," De Zeoentiende Eeuu 1
(1985): 1. 14.
11. For a fuller discussion of these problems, see Roodengenheid lan de 300ste sterfdqg lqn Constantiin Hullgens,
burg, "The 'Hand of Friendship,"' 154-57.
12. We even possess a few notes written by Huygens Sr.
ed. ArLhur Eyffrnger (The Hague, 1987), 96-101.
2. It seems likely that Huygens was all the more con- on the education of his children. See Huygens herdacht,
cerned about the education of his sons, as the famil¡ be- 79-88.
13. Constantijn HuygeÌls, Mijn jeugd, ttans. aJjd ed..
cause of its Brabant origins, did not have access to political
office and thereby to the urban regent class. Such offrces C. L. Heesakkers (Amsterdam, 1987),32. The odginaì
remained the prerequisite of the "naLives of this country." manuscript, written in Latin, rests wirh the Koninklijke BiFor the diffrculties of the Huygens family, see H. A, bliotheek in The Hague. For an edition of this manuscript,
Hofman, Constantijn HuAgens (1596-1687): Een chris- see Bijdragen en Mededeelingen !øn het Historisch Genoottelijh bourgeois-gentilhomme in dienst !øn het Orqnjehuis schøp 18 (1897): 1-122.
(Utrecht, 1983), 28-29.
14. Huygens, Mijn jeugd,24.
15. Georges VigareÌÌo, "The Upward Tiaining of rhe Body
3. The phrase is, of course, Ewing Goffrnan's. See his
Rel(úions in PubliÇ: Microstudies of the Public Order (New from ttre Age of Chivalry to Courtly Civílity," i\ Frøgments
York. 1971).
for ø History of the Human Body, ed. Michael Feher (New
4. See especially Erving Goffrnan, The Presentation of York, 1989), 2: 749-96. This contribution was taken from
the author's Histoiîe d,'un pouloir péd,o,gogiq¿¿e (Paris,
SeLf in Etergday Life (New York, 1971). On my reservations
regarding Elias, see also Herman Roodenburg, "The 'Hand 1978). For arÌother important and sLimulating overview,
of Friendship': Shaking Hands and Other Gestur€s in the see David Kunzle, Fqshion and Fetishism: A Social HisDutch Republic," tn A Cultural HistorA of Gesture from tor! of the Corset, Tight-Løcing and Other Forms of BodgAntiquitA to the Present DaA , ed. JanBtemmer and Herma¡ Sculpture in the West (Totowa, N.J., 1982), 70-104. For the
1. For the full story,
see: Huygens herdacht: CatøIogus
bij d.e tentoonsteLliw in de Koninhlijh.e BibLiotheeh ter gele-
On "Swelling" the Hips and Crossing the Legs
33. Gisbertus Voetius, Een hort tractqetjen 1)qn de ddrnseaù Dutch Republic, see Heûnan Roodenburg, "Over
korsetten, lichaamshouding en gebaren: Een cultuurhistor- sen, tot dienst lqn den eewoudigen (Ufecht, 1644), 79.
ische verkenning van de 'nieuwe fatsoenen' tussen ruwweg
1580 en 1630," Textielhistorische Bijdragen 3i (1991):
16. Quoted after Hella Haasse, Mel.)rouu Bentinch: On-
ærenigbo.qrheid aøn hørahter (Amsterdam, 1990), 50, 119.
17. Johan van Bever\¡¡ijck, "Schat der gesontheydt," in
Alle de taerchen, soo in de medecgne als chirurgge (.Utrecht,
1651), 182.
18. Jacques Ballexserd, "Verhandeling over de natuurkundige opvoeding der ki¡deren. Van de geboorte tot den
huwbaren tyd, welke hier bepaald word om 15 of 16 jaaren,"
Yerhøndelingen uitgegeelten d.oor d.e Hollandsche
Maqtsch(rypAe der Weetenschappen te Hq(trlem, vol T , 2e
stuk (Haa em, 1763), 186. This treatise, winning the first
prize, was an answer to the question: "Wat is het beste bestier, 't geen men moet houden omtrent het lighaam der
kinderen, zo met opzigt tot hunne kleeding, voedsel, oeffening, als anders, van hunne geboorte af, geduurende hun
kindsheid, om ze lalg en gezond te doen leeven?"
19. Petrus Camper, "Verhandeling over het besÍer van
kinderen," in Verhandclingen, 384, 388. With his answer
CamÞer won the second plize.
20. The corsets probably originated at the Spanish coult
and reached the French court via ltaly. See Kunzle, Fqshion
and Fetishism,71. About the upright posture of Spanish
courtiers, interpreLed by other counhies as proud and arrogant, and its relationship with Spanish fashion, see Roodenburg, "Over korsetten," 31-32. See also the important essay
by Peter Burke, "The Language ofGesture in Early Modern
Italy.' in A Cullurql Histor!.77J8.
21. Henri Estienne, Deux dialogues du nouteau langage
français italianizé, ed. P Ristelhuber (Paris, 1885), l: 253.
Also quoted in Vigarello, "The Upward Training," 155.
22. Kunzle, Fashion and Fetishisltt, 75.
23. For Flernish influences on Dutch fashion, see Roodenburg, "Over korsetten," 25-29.
24. Vigarello, "The Upward Tiaining," 179-80.
25. For this ftiendship, see Huygens, Mijn jeugd, 39.
Marnix was the first secretary and confidan¿ of WiÌIiam of
Orange; Huygens was his fourth secleLary.
26. Phllippi Marnixü Domini Sancti Aldegondani, De lnstitutione PùnciDium. ac Nobilium Puerorum Libellus Uti{ traneKet lolÐ,.
27. We stft encounte; such notions in the eighteenth
century. See Van Laar, Ceîemonie-boech, 171ff: dancing,
riding, fencing, a¡d other physica.l exercises are favorable
to develop a beeter gesteldheid.
28. Phllips van Marnix, Heer van Sr. Aldegonde, De opvoedina ùan de ieuqd, trans. and ed. H. de Wit-Van Westerhuisi Kampen", tù'92r, bl, This translation is closer to the
orisinal than the Larin edirion of 1615.
lg. See Huggens herdacht, T9-86. For Marnix's feelings
on dancirg, see also Marniixi epistula.e: De briefu./isseling
a(tn Marnin utn St. Aldegonde, Een lxritische uitgal)e, ed..
A. Gerlo and R. de Smet (BrusseÌs, 1992), 2: 82-83. This
text is a letter fiom 1577 and written to the Calvinist minister Caspar van der Heyden. In his letter, Marnix defends
(civilized) dancing against the negative views of the ministers. To him one of the uses of dancing was physical
30. Huygens, Mijn jeugd, 23-24.
31. Huygens. Mijn jeugd.53-54.
32. Huggens herdacht, 14O.
The same text was originally \,lTitLen as a disputation held
1643, The same passage also quoted
in Herman Rooden-
bvg, Onder censuur: De herhe\ijhe tucht in
de gerefor-
meerde gemeente oan Amsterdam, 1578-1700 (Hiìversum,
1990). 328. For an excellent overview of seventeenthcentury dancing and the ideas of the church, see F. G.
Naerebout, "'Snoode exercitien: Het zeventiende-eeuwse
Nederla¡dse protestantisme en de dans," Volhshundig Bulletin l6 (1990): 2, 125-56.
34. For the strenghtening of social hierarchy in the
Dutch Republic and its impact on posLure and gesture, see
Roodenburg, "The 'Hand of Friendship."'
35. Samuel van Hoogshaten, InleAding tot de hooge
schoole der schilderhonst, anders de zichtbaere werelt (Èotterdarn, 1678), 117.
36. Willem Goeree, Natuurlgh en schilderhonstig ontwerp d.er menschku?de (Amsterdam, 1682), 297-98, 309.
37. Ba.ldassare Cas Lighor'e, Den 1)olm(rqhten hoøeLing: of
schat 1)qn ltetenschap, nood"igh tot welleventheAt (Arnsterdam. 1675), 300ff.
38. According to Theo van der Meer, effeminacy was only
associated with homosexua.ls after the gulf of prosecutions
starting in 1730. See Theo van der Meer, "Gruwelen onzer
eeuwe, Jacob Campo Weyerman en de sodomietenvervolgingen van 1730," Mededelingen øan de Stichting Jacob
(i993): 2, 33-51, here 43-46.
Carnpo Wegennan 16
39, For a recent and inLeresting study of this aspect,
J. Bolten, Posi¿z¡: Ga.an en sta"qn in de beeld.ende hunst
de 16d.e en 17de eeuw (Letden, 1991).
40. Gerard de Lairesse, Het groot schilderboeh (Amster'
dam, 1707), 1: 33.
41. For the exact meaning of the term welstand and for
Van Mander's usúrg uelstqnd anð. graceliichhellt in 't bu!ghen en zuenden interchangeably, see Hessel Miedema's
commentary in his edition of Van Mander's schilderboeh:
Kareì van Mander, Deæ grondt der edel try schilder-const,
ed. Hessel Miedema (Utrecht, 1973),2: 448-49.
42, Van Mander, Grondt, 1:114-17 (see also Miedema's
comments in ibid., 2: 451-52); Van Hoogstraten, Inlegding,
295; Goeree, Ontwerp, 243ff.
Van Mander Grondt, | 125-26.
Goeree, Ontwerp,242 43.
De Lairesse. Schilderboeh,1i 52.
De Lairesse. Schilderboeh. 1: 54-55.
De La esse. Schilderboeh, 1: 52.
De Lairesse. Schilderboeh, l:59.
See above, p. 70.
G. P Lomazzo, Tiattq.to dell'Arte de La Pitturq (M1-
Ian, 1584), 141.
51. De Laùesse. Schilderboeh, 1:56.
52. De Lairesse. Scltilderboeh, I: 173-:74. For a similar
verdict on Brouwer, c.s. Val Hoogstraten, Inlevding,67.
For my use of th e teúns
pictorial trqdition alld icono-
grøphic contention and their importance for studying fo1m
as a carrier ofmeaning, see Eric Jan Sluyter, "Nieuwe kunsthistorische benaderingen en het veranderende beeld van
de zeventlende-eeuwse Nederìandse schilderkunst," in De
Gouden Eeuw in perspectief: het beeld lqn de Nederland"se
zeaentiende-eeuwse schiLdeîhunst in later tiid, ed. Frans
Grijzenhout and Henk van Veen (Nijmegen and Heerlen,
1992), 360-98, herc 374-:75.
54. Goeree, Ontuerp, 316.
55. For some examples and commentary (but not on
posture or gettute), see Svedana Alpers, ,,Bruegel's fes_
59. Erasmus, Boecåje, 19. As hephrased it, it was charac_
tive peasarits," S¿mioLus 6, no. 3/4 (1972J3): 163_76, and
teristic of the i?zep¿orum o\ in the Dutch translation, o?¿oe_
her "Realism as a Comic Mode: Low-Life
schichten (meanng rude or unruly).
through Bredero's Eyes." S¡rn¡o¿¡ls 8, no. 3 ( 197"5-76):
60. Quoted after Schotel, Volhsboehen, 1: 207. For the
l15-45. Cf. Miedema's critical remâ¡ks on rhe conceDl of term stouuer,
see the Woordenboeh d.er Ned.erlclnd.sche T(tal,
"comic mode." as suggested by Alpers in Hessel Miedèma,
"Realsm and Comic Mode: The pèasant," Sim¡ol¿s 9. no. 4
61. Van Laar, Ceremonie,boech, 204.
(1977 ): 2o5-19: see also Sverlana Alpers. ,.Täking pictures
62. In
-a modern study of nonverbal communication,
Seriously: A Reply ro Hessel Miedemã," Simiotu; lO, rlo. 1
crossing the legs is a sign ofrelaxation and thus ofa certain
( l978Jg)t 46-50. For an inrelligenr discuss¡on
of posture
carelessness,. if not indifference, toward the other person.
arid gesture in Jan Steen. see Ma.riët Westerma¡ñ. .The Cfì A. Mehrabian, Nowerbal
CoÌnmunícation (Chicàgo and,
Amusements of Jan Steen, Génerically Looking,,' a lecture
the author held at the Courtauld Institute on ã6 Februarv
1992. 17ff. She also poinrs to Sreen s subverring of propei
gestur-e for comic effect (which was practiced on tt e stâge
as well r, for example, where he depicis his women of lessãr
repure with quite graceful gestures.
56, I owe this reference to Elizabeth Wvckoff.
. 57. For a helpful srudy ofsuch contrasis. see paul Va¡rdenbroeck. t)þer uilden cn narren, boeren en bedelaars:
BeeLd ùqn d^e- a,nd:re, verloog ouer hel ze\ t Antweryen.
1987), esp. 63-116.
58. For some criticisms on the concept of,,disguised s¡n_
bollsm," sej James H. Marrow, "Sym6ol and ñleanin! in
Nor_thern European Arr of the Late Middle Ages and"rhe
Eafly Renaissance." Simjolas 16 ( t986r: 15l:lan Baptist
Bedaux. Tfte Reality of Sgmbols: Studies in the tconoloou
oJ Nelherlandish Art ],400-1800 t s-G¡avenhage and Maais"sen. i990).21-63.
New York, 1972), esp. 153.
63. Municipal Archives Haarlem, Notadeel Archief 153,
328v-334r. The room is described as ,,de camer boven
het grot salet.' the painting as -her conterfeütsel van den
overleden int cleiin in swarre lijst."
64. Roger Chartier. Les pratjques de I'écrit,'in H¡sro¡re
dc lq vie priaëe. ed. Ph. Aries and G. Duby { paris. l9g6). 3:
113-62, here 135-44.
65. R. Meischke, Het Ned.erktnd.se woonhuis tqn 18001800 (Haarlem, 1969), 410, 413, 428. Thera Wijsenbeek,
Achter de getels uøn DeLft: Bezit en besta.an t,an riih en arm
i-n^y1n gelo! ua,n glhteruitganq t t700_i800, r Hilversum,
1987).-163-64. C. W Fock, "Wonen aan her Leidse Rapen_
burg door de eeuwen heen," i¡ Wonen in het rerfed.en
1 7 e-20e eeuu./ : Economie, poLitieh, ?olhshuis,re
stinq. cul_
tuur .en bibliogrøfie, ed. P M. M. Klep et al. ¡Amstðidam,
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