Here Winter is represented by Mardi Gras, or Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent. It was the final chance to eat rich food before the culinary restrictions started, and a day of general merriment and sexual licence. A group of women fry sweet pastry beignets (fritters), which, like pancakes, used up food that could not be eaten during Lent. While excited children run off with a plateful, an over-amorous man is rebuffed and warned that he will be splashed with hot fat if he does not remove his hand from the bosom of the cook-in-charge.
Abraham Bosse (1602 – 76)
Published by Jean Le Blond I (c.1594 –1666), France, c.1637
Founder’s Bequest, 1816 (30.I.5-275)