National Gallery of Art - EXHIBITIONS


The Housebook Master
Middle Rhenish, active c. 1465/1500
Luna and Her Children, from The Housebook, 1475-1485
pen and ink with watercolor and metal leaf
Collection of the Princes of Waldburg-Wolfegg


detail images

Planets: Luna

Luna rides across the sky accompanied by a crescent moon and a crab, the zodiacal sign for Cancer who is associated with Luna. The "children" born under her influence inhabit the landscape below. Luna's children are described as unstable, lazy, and haughty, with pale, round faces, large mouths, poor eyesight, and short stature. They are inclined to be wanderers, tricksters, and quack surgeons. Such vagrants and charlatans appear in the foreground of this scene, one with an exotic monkey, and jugglers and acrobats are depicted on the banner. Attracted to all activities relating to water, Luna's children may be mariners, fishermen, bird hunters, or millers.

Related Works
1. Israhel van Meckenem, The Juggler and the Woman
2. The Housebook Master (?), Performers
back to Selected Images