Artistic Preference


Adriaen van de Velde, The beach at Scheveningen, 1658, Oil on canvas, 52.6 x 73.8 cm, © Museumslandschaft Hessen Kassel, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister

I prefer the Puritan merchants of Protestant art,

the businessmen of bourse, wool house and guild,

to madonnas, or scenery with milkmaids, can’t

enjoy populated countryside, want fields

and beaches empty, though like a crowd scene

of Hogarthian revellers, or townsfolk who skate

in secular festivity, or Claude Lorraine dream

of classical heroes in an Arcadian landscape,

or that snow-filled Bruegel of the hunters’ return

about the time the vernacular displaced Latin.

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