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Feast & Fast

The Art of Food in Europe, 1500 – 1800

36: Phlegmatici

Phlegmatici (The Phlegmatic Temperament) from The Four Temperaments Luna, goddess of the moon and regarded as a moistening celestial planet, rules over her Phlegmatic people. She is shown in the company of the three ‘water’ signs – Cancer, Pisces, and Scorpio. Below, her Phlegmatic subjects fish with lines, nets, and traps, whilst others hunt water fowl including swans, geese, and ducks. The Latin inscription at the bottom was supplied by Heemskerck’s doctor friend Hadrianus Junius, who was aware of the significance of the Humours related to diet. Interestingly, this is the only one of Heemskerck’s Four Temperaments to include food-gathering activities.

Harmen Jansz. Müller (c.1540 –1617), after Maarten van Heemskerck (1498 –1574) Netherlands, 1566

Engraving The Rev. R.E. Kerrich Bequest, 1872; received 1873 (M.H-II-151)

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