Double Portrait of a Man and a Woman Playing Tric-Trac

1532
Jan Van Hemessen (ca.1500-1575/79)

FRIDAY NIGHT = DATE NIGHT!

No, we're not jealous of the dignitaries of our time. We’re doing well together. We belong to the middle class and we're happy. Not a big city palace, but we still show off gold leather against the wall. We seem to be playing a game of tric-trac, one of the oldest games, but that is an important symbol in this double portrait. In the game there is no winner or loser yet, in fact we are supporting each other. We're either like-minded or marriage partners.

 

HOW ELSE DO WE BETRAY THAT WE GOT MARRIED?

Do you see the parrot on the edge of the table? Parrots have been imported into Europe from South America since the early sixteenth century. The parrot is a monogamous and faithful bird and symbolizes conjugal union. The bowl with fruits refers to a fruitful marriage. And I, as my husband's loving wife, show my support to my beloved one by putting my hand on his shoulder.

You can find me in the Museum Snijders&Rockoxhuis, I look forward to your visit.