Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Off the the Fair - 1500s European Village Fairs

From the school of Pieter Bruegel the elder (Flemish artist, 1525–1569) A Village Fair

1500s Brueghel, Pieter, the younger (Flemish artist, c.1564-1637-8)A Village Fair (Village festival in Honour of Saint Hubert and Saint Anthony)

1500s Brueghel, Pieter, the younger (Flemish artist, c.1564-1637-8) Village Fair Festival.  This painting is much like the above except for the addition of a few celebrants in the lower left.

A fair is an ancient tradition. Early Roman fairs were holidays during which the people did not work. In the Middle Ages, many fairs developed as temporary commercial markets, especially important for long-distance trade, where traders could buy & sell. These often were tied to a Christian religious occasion particularly the anniversary dedication of a local church or the feast day of the patron saint to whom the local church was dedicated. Some fairs were seasonal festivals, such as harvest celebrations. To these often religious-based commercial marketplaces townsfolk added processions, entertainment, and food & drink, as these early markets took on the aspect of modern-day fairs. Many communities have long had dedicated fairgrounds; others hold fairs in a variety of public places, including streets & town squares, and large gardens.

Isaac Claesz van Swanenburg (Dutch artist, 1537-1624) A Flemish Fair 

1590 Gillis Mostaert (1528–1598) Village Fair

1500s Hans Bol (Dutch artist, 1534-1593) Village Feast, Annual Fair

Gillis Mostaert (1528–1598) Feast of St George