The Consequences of a Spoiled Youth

After David Vinckboons Netherlandish
Pieter Serwouters Netherlandish
Publisher Cornelius Janssen British

Not on view

Although David Vinckboons made only three prints himself, his designs were the basis for more prints than any other Netherlandish artist in the early seventeen century. Pieter Serwouters was responsible for more two dozen of these, mainly engravings and etchings of both religious and secular subjects.

The proper behavior and relationships between the members of a family were an important aspect of life in the Netherlands in the early seventeenth century and was a popular subject for Vinckboons and his circle. The long poem beneath the composition describes how spoiling children when they are young can have disastrous consequences. The author compares over-indulging children to giving them swords to play with -- the little girl in the foreground or her brother with a spear; or to horses too wild to ride – the older boy at the rear of the courtyard about to tumble off his horse. Elsewhere there are bags of money, abandoned toys, and expensive pets, all identifying the parents as wealthy and too permissive. The family’s coat of arms above the portico shows an old man being pursued by a devil with an hour-glass and underneath is the motto"Niet Sonder Loon" – roughly everything has a cost.

A second impression of this print (49.95.1109) is in the very rare first state, before the addition of the publisher’s name to the left of the drum. There are no examples of this state cited in Hollstein’s catalogue of the artist’s prints.

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