The map of an island in the form of a fool's head; representing the Dutch financial crisis of 1720. Etching, 1720.
- Part of
- Groote tafereel der dwaasheid.
About this work
In the centre, the head of a man with a fool's cap, in profile to right. The head is marked like a map with geographical locations, some of them actual places in which rash financial speculation was rife (rivers Seine and Thames), others allegorical (Poverty, Melancholy, Despair, Madhouse, Windcity etc.). Above, a cartouche "'t wapen van dit eyland 1720", with an engraving of winds. Behind, a vast tomb
Top left and right, two vignettes: on the left a man discovering that his treasure chest is empty and bewailing his loss; on the right, the man begging on the street and saying "I cannot live on wind". Below each scene is a festoon composed not of soothing plants but of painful things: holly, birch branches, a scourge, a scorpion, a snake, a curry-comb
Middle row, medallions containing (left) an owl with motto "Ik bemin de duysternis" (I love the darkness) and right a lynx with motto "By nacht soek ik myn fortuyn" (By night I seek my fortune)
Bottom left and right, two scenes. On the left, the English coffee house in Amsterdam (inscribed "Engelse kof. huys") with its windows and door smashed and a crowd gathered outside; above, a cartouche "Quinquempoix beplystert ("Quinquenpoix plastered"?). On the right a man fleeing in a land-yacht to Vianen (flag on aft inscribed "na Viane[n]), flag on prow bears coat of arms of Vianen), a place of refuge for bankrupts. Above, a cartouche "Vlug der inwoonde van 't eilant Geks Kop" (Flight of the inhabitants of the island of Madman's Head)
Where to find it
Location Status AccessClosed stores