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Frogs and toads in Western painting

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Frogs and toads are small and humble creatures, hardly attractive themes for the artist.
They’ve had their moments in paint though ...


Frogs and toads in Western painting

  1. 1. in the Bible, spiritual meaning in the shape of a plague in the Exodus in the Revelation associated with unclean spirits to the Greeks and Romans, symbols of fertility, harmony, and licentiousness in association with Aphrodite in the Christian Middle Ages associated with the dark arts, Satan or the heretics
  2. 2. portrayed as ugly, dark creatures in the Middle Ages a symbol of sin, death, lust, and heretics, associated with evil, with the devil, witchcraft and sorcery recognized as useful in the garden, and defended by some poets, in particular Victor Hugo, its image improved towards the end of the 19th century and during the 20th century
  3. 3. Frogs and toads are small and humble creatures, hardly attractive themes for the artist. They’ve had their moments in paint though ...
  4. 4. Frogs and toads in Western painting
  5. 5. multiple batrachians emerge from the pond: symbols of evil, impurity, corruption, lust and sin … two extravagant birds are fighting over a toad a bird with a spatula-shaped beak gobbles up another toad a soldier who is being devoured by rabid satanic dogs lies on a banner with a toad, symbol of sin the toad sitting on a woman's chest symbolizes impurity (the toads on women's chests could be the indications of their involvement in witchcraft or their crime of poisoning other people) Jheronimus Bosch The Garden of Earthly Delights Le jardin des délices 1490-1500 Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid
  6. 6. Toads are shown as servants of Satan ... St. Anthony, tempted and seduced by demons is carried away on the abdomen of a winged toad an bird-like creature with a long straight bill, is swallowing a whole frog a devil-queen offers Anthony a glimpse of her infatuating naked body and an old person pours liquid from a ewer into the bowl held up by a toad Jheronimus Bosch Triptych of the Temptation of Saint Anthony Triptyque de la Tentation de saint Antoine 1500-1510 Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, Lisboa
  7. 7. an invasion of evil little creatures … a fish with fangs is walking on the bank, an inverted funnel with human legs and arms, a cloaked creature with the bill of a spoonbill and a frog Jheronimus Bosch The Temptation of Saint Anthony La Tentation de saint Antoine c 1500-1510 The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City
  8. 8. faces ugly and distorted, a dense mass of mean-spirited soldiers here there is only evil intent, as seen in the shield with the giant toad held by the young man who leads Christ ... Jheronimus Bosch Christ Carrying the Cross Le Portement de Croix 1490-1510 Gemäldegalerie, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
  9. 9. a big toad climbs up the shield held by the soldier on the right, a symbol of evil, lust and depravity Jheronimus Bosch Ecce Homo 1475-1480 Städelsches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt
  10. 10. on the woman's lap sits a toad, the symbol of an evil spirit … Jheronimus Bosch The Haywain Le Chariot de foin 1512-1515 Museo del Prado, Madrid
  11. 11. the myopic gaze of the thief, the stupid amazement of the frog-spitting victim and the ironic relationship between the shiny eyes of the fool and the white gleaming spots of the frog’s eyes on the table Jheronimus Bosch, follower of, après 1525 The Conjurer L'Escamoteur 1475-1480 Musée Municipal, Saint Germain-en-Laye
  12. 12. a well-known classical myth ... Latona’s pregnancy was the result of another of Jupiter’s extra-marital relationships and Latona she fled from Juno to the countryside in Lycia ... in a dense forest she finds a marsh with clean water for a thirst quencher, but the local peasants aren’t having it and they stomp up the mud and … Latona’s thirst was replaced by anger, and she cursed them to remain in that pool forever, transforming them into frogs Jan Brueghel the Elder, Jan Brueghel l'Ancien Latona and the Lycian Peasants Latone et les paysans lyciens 1595-1610 Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, Amsterdam
  13. 13. a Greek goddess with peasant-into-frog-turning superpowers … (a landscape looks like suburban Antwerp in 1640, not Lycia thousands of years BC) David Teniers the Younger, David Teniers le Jeune Latone et les grenouilles, Latone change en grenouilles les paysans de Lycie Latona and the Frogs 1640-1650 Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, San Francisco
  14. 14. a noted sorceress from classical myth ... preparing a magic potion … all objects associated with magical rites are arranged in front of Medea: strange roots, dried sting ray, a small Egyptian sculpture, abalone shell and a copulating pair of foul toads (I don’t know whether the toads offended the jury of the Royal Academy, but this wonderful painting was rejected when Sandys submitted it for exhibition ...) Frederick Sandys Medea Médée 1866-1868 Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham
  15. 15. old, young witches ... cooking with strange ingredients, praying to the devil, reading in magic books, applying on ointment made of flies on the back, to fly at its foot the ingredients of this cooking session: snakes, skulls, bones, the head of the decapitated soldier wearing his helmet and a toad-like swollen winged pierced with an arrow Frans Francken the Younger, Frans Francken le Jeune The Witches' Kitchen La cuisine des sorcières 1610 Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
  16. 16. an unidentified young man ... a prototype of the Christian Knight, the virtues of which are clearly referred to in the motto "Malo mori quam foedari"- better dead than stained, inscribed on the scroll to the left, above the ermine, a symbol of purity and integrity ... next to the ermine three toads, symbols of lust and corruption Vittore Carpaccio Young Knight in a Landscape Jeune chevalier dans un paysage 1505 Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid
  17. 17. the zoology of Bruegel’s The Fall of the Rebel Angels … sea creatures, butterflies, poultry, slippery fish, shrimps, fruit, lizards, a bloated frog by decomposition, a gutted frog with bird legs Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Pieter Bruegel l'Ancien The Fall of the Rebel Angels La Chute des anges rebelles 1562 Musées Royaux des Beaux Arts de Belgique, Brussels
  18. 18. a wood with thick dark undergrowth ... a hidden microcosm in which snakes, lizards, frogs and toads, crowd together fighting for their lives under the thistles a lizard is hiding, about to attack the toad Otto Marseus van Schrieck Still life with Insects and Amphibians Nature morte avec insectes et aux amphibiens 1662 Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum, Braunschweig
  19. 19. Placed at the center of the stage is a man in a hat , a deformed dwarf and a Pierrot with his costume decorated with the image of a red toad ... (the red frog of the Pierrot can evoke this passage of the Apocalypse: "And I saw from the mouth of the dragon, and from the mouth of the beast, and from the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs ...“ These three spirits can be incarnated here in the dwarf, the Pierrot and the man in the hat ... for a fee of 30 centimes climb the stairs and go behind the red curtain, already opened by a mysterious hand. The show is about to begin …!) Fernand Pelez Grimaces et misères. Les Saltimbanques Grimaces and Misery. The Entertainers 1888 Musée du Petit Palais, Paris
  20. 20. Did you notice them? a red bullfinch in mid-flight and a small frog faces outwards (Many believe that the bullfinch invites the spectators to open their eyes as he hovers over the scene. And the frog on the other hand, refers to a nickname given to 19th century prostitutes) Édouard Manet Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe The Luncheon on the Grass 1863 Musée d'Orsay, Paris
  21. 21. painting by a German Gothic artist a reminder of mortality ... the Dead Lovers ... putrefying cadavers, infested by insects such as flies and dragonflies, snakes, worms and a toad Artiste inconnu, Rhin supérieur ou Souabe Unknown artist, Ulm or Upper Rhine Amants trépassés The Dead Lovers 1470 Musée de l'Œuvre Notre-Dame, Strasbourg
  22. 22. Baby Jesus, Madonna, Saint Ambrose, Saint Michael, two angels the heretic Arius and Satan victory and rout ... the Madonna in the act of handing a palm to Saint Ambrose, for his victory over Arianism, symbolized by the corpse of Arius at the foot of the Milanese prelate on the right the Archangel Saint Michael, at his feet, symbol of defeated malignity, a dead toad Bramantino Madonna of the towers or The Madonna Enthroned with Saint Ambrose and Saint Michael La Vierge aux tours ou Vierge à l'enfant entre Saint Ambroise et Saint Michel 1520 Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, Milan
  23. 23. olga_oes Frogs and toads in Western painting Grenouilles et crapauds dans la peinture occidentale images and text credit www. Music The Piano Guys Michael Meets Mozart created olga.e. thanks for watching
  • johndemi

    Sep. 25, 2021
  • tokerbella

    Sep. 24, 2021

Frogs and toads are small and humble creatures, hardly attractive themes for the artist. They’ve had their moments in paint though ... DOWNLOAD:


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