This wild brawl pits a mob of peasants at left, armed with food and cooking implements, against a similarly equipped pack of monks and priests on the right. Peasants brandish skewered chickens and a sausage against a monk swinging a bundle of dried codfish. These rowdy combatants personify Carnival and Lent. Mock battles between them—symbolizing the struggle between excess and abstinence—often formed part of the popular Carnival celebrations that preceded the start of Lent, traditionally a time of penitence and fasting in the Christian liturgical calendar.
Provenance research is on-going at the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields. Please contact Annette Schlagenhauff, Curator of European Art, at email@example.com if you have questions, or if you have additional information to share with us.