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University of Chicago, Smart Museum of Art
Austrian, 1724-96
The Sausage Woman, circa 1785-90
Oil on wood panel

Baroque theorists in both the visual and dramatic arts were concerned with categorizing the tasks of art making. In general, images such as this panel, which depicts a humble peasant scene, occupied a low rung on the theoretical ladder, for it appears to make no effort at commentary or moralization. It was the accusation of emphasizing these sorts of neutral transcriptions that pursued and even inspired Molière.

©2001 The University of Chicago