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Feast & Fast

The Art of Food in Europe, 1500 – 1800

62: The world turned upside down

Hares roasting a hunter

The world turned upside down: Hares roasting a hunter In this tiny print, animals fight back against human aggressors. Normal roles are reversed and animal victims get their revenge. Having caught the hunter, hares spit-roast him alive. Two of his canine accomplices are boiled alive, while two more are dragged towards the fire. The German inscription explains the hares’ point of view and how the punishment fits the crime: ‘Those who caught, flayed, and ate us; we now treat in the same way.’ Such images reveal a profound uneasiness about human- animal relations – especially with animals that were eaten – which ultimately comes from the notion that God created animals to be Man’s companions, and Adam and Eve in Eden were vegetarian.

Virgilius Solis the Elder (1514 – 62)

Germany, 1530 – 62 Etching

The Rev. R.E. Kerrich Bequest, 1872; received 1873 (P.4962-R)

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