Quentin Matsys, Ill-Matched Marriage, 1525-30

The cautionary tale of a young gold-digging woman preying upon an old rich fool is a common one during the Renaissance, depicted by artists such as Leonardo da Vinci and Lucas Cranach the Elder, but Matsys takes the theme and flips it; the young man in pink at center is the one digging for gold. He embraces his new elderly wife (yes, that’s a woman – check out that cleavage) whose purse spills gold coins. The sucker wife holds a ring for her cunning husband, while he puts his hand on the gold.

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