About this artwork
Here an enraged woman wielding a distaff as a weapon gains the upper hand over her husband. They are fighting over the trousers on the ground in front of them – that is, for control of the household. This scene is part of Israhel van Meckenem’s series of six prints of couples against a neutral background. It is the only one with a clear narrative and the only one in which the blank scrolls in the upper corners are replaced with imagery: the distaff, used to spin thread and emblematic of feminine pursuits, and a demon who encourages the fight. The pointed satire of domesticity in this print suggests that the other five images of couples may also be somewhat ironic.
Currently Off View
- Prints and Drawings
- Israhel van Meckenem, the younger
- The Fight over the Trousers
- Engraving printed in black on ivory laid paper
- 168 × 109 mm
- Bequest of Mrs. Potter Palmer, Jr.