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File:Chastity belt satire.jpg

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English: A caricature on the ultimate ineffectualness of chastity belts. According to information in the scholarly work The Girdle of Chastity by Eric John Dingwall, there were a number of versions, but this specific version of the caricature was published ca. 1590. The central scene depicts a young wife meekly handing over the key to her chastity belt to her husband, who is about to go on a long journey. However, the old woman lurking behind the bed has another key, so that the husband is likened to a fool who tries to keep fleas in a basket (shown at right). The cat and mouse on the floor at lower left are a reminder of the proverb "When the cat's away, the mice will play". The husband has donkey's ears (ass's ears) on his hat which resemble those of the fool...

Text above the picture (argument against jealousy in Dutch):

Wie jalours syn wil die siet vry my
Want hier meucht ghy sien wat die jaloursheyt sy
Daerom vorhaer wilt U wachten ghy
Want al hebt ghy een vrouken schoon en gracieux daer by
En wilt U daerom in geen jaloursheyt begeuen
Want ghy maeckt U selven maer suer het leuen
Maer wilt U vroukens het heure gheuen
Soo meucht ghy onbevreest met heur in vreuchden leuen

Text below the picture (narrative description in German dialect):

Wer Eÿfferen wil der schaw hie an.
Wie es geht fast ein jedern Mann.
Ich sag für war füer Frawen list.
Uff Erden nichts verborgen ist.
Es hatt ein Mann ein Fräwlein schon.
Der hatt ein reis genommen an.
Die weil er aber ein eifferer war.
Macht er ein Bruch von eisen gar.
Darmitt er fromm behielt sein Weib.
Zog er das ihr an ihren Leÿb.
Und heing ein starckes schlos darfür.
Das niemand öffnen soltt die theür.
Nam aüch den schlüssel und zog hin.
Das Weib stach bald und eselt ihm.
Diweil ein alt Weÿb hinderm Bett.
Zum Schlos ein andern Schlüssell hett.

Previously attributed to one of the members of the Wierix family. The print is unsigned (three copies cited by M.-H). An impression in Wolfenbüttel measures 19.4 x 23.7 cm and is signed.

This version is possibly a copy.

A woman cheating on her husband; a naked woman with a chastity belt sits on a bed with her foot on a chest and offers a key to a finely attired man with fool's ears; two figures observe the scene from the shadows and a fool empties a sheet of lice(?) into a basket; a satire
Date circa 1590
date QS:P,+1590-00-00T00:00:00Z/9,P1480,Q5727902
Source British Museum: online database: entry 1523832
creator QS:P170,Q1599335
Other versions

For other Renaissance caricatures on the same general theme, see File:16thc-German-woodcut-Chastity-belt.jpg and File:Alfons luder kunde.gif


Public domain

This work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 100 years or less.

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