- Museum number
Object: De Waereld is een speell toneel, elk speeld zyn rolen krygt zyn deel (The World is a Stage; everyone acts his part and receives his portion)
Object: Castigat Ridendo Mores
Series: Het Groote Tafereel der Dwaasheid
Satire on the financial crisis of 1720. In the centre is a stage at the left of which stands Harlequin and at the right Time drawing aside a curtain. He reveals a devil leading a procession in the forefront of which a poor man staggers under the weight of the Duke of Orleans who holds an orb bearing the fleur-de-lis. The Duke's train, decorated with a mousetrap and serpents, is held by a nobleman beside whom is an ecclesiastic; the remainder of the procession consists of men from different walks of life, all carrying share papers. They progress along the road to hell-mouth which lies beyond a lake where a man flounders, another hangs from a tree, and a second devil waits. On a cloud above, Jupiter and Neptune are appealed to by Justice and Mercury; Plenty empties her cornucopia, and Fame flies over them; behind is a colonnade bearing the arms of Amsterdam. The stage curtains are suspended from a canopy formed of a hemisphere on which is marked "Mississippi", "Sud" and "West"; a winged hour-glass rests on the top between two winged children, that on the left wearing a fool's cap, holding a toy windmill and a purse from which jewels, coins and paper money fall into a net held by a devil, that on the right weeping and holding a large ring and anchor releasing hearts and crucifixes that tumble down to be caught in a cloth held by an angel. In front of the stage is a group of emblematic figures including, from left to right: Commerce or Industry, an armed figure, with a beehive, a bale of goods, a tobacco roll and branch, and a caduceus; a winged child holding a shield with the arms of Haarlem; a female figure representing Constancy holding a column and a shield with the arms of Leiden; a claw-footed Bombario, symbol of the "wind trade", falling to the ground, his pedlar's box spilling papers, as Truth removes his mask; Bombario's right wrist is chained to that of a Fury sprawling on a bag of small coins and struggling with snakes wound around her left arm; a man struggling to escape from the interior of an overthrown globe on which the word "Mississippi" is inscribed; a goose; two children, one blowing bubbles, the other holding up a mouse-trap. On either side of the stage is a column with five small scenes with inscriptions on banners beneath, from top left: freemen and slaves in chains embark on a ship for the Mississippi; a meeting of the Council of the French Regency at which John Law, prompted by the devil, presents his financial plans; an interior on a quayside where Law presents merchants with his plans for the West India Company; fish merchants set up a company at Enkhuizen; three European gentlemen on a tropical shore demand goods from dark-skinned men, either native Americans or Africans; a fleet of ships approaches a barren shore, guns firing, on which are two native Americans or Africans, one holding a broom, the other a note indicating that there is nothing there to be swept; a meeting of the English Privy Council with South Sea Company shares attached to the wall; a room, apparently in Utrecht, with an angry investor (?) addressing three men seated at a table while another makes notes at a desk; a room in Zwol where four men make merry beside a chest overflowing with money-bags while further bags are brought into them; a Caribbean shore with black men bringing cocoa, sugar, gold and a parrot to a group of Europeans. Engraved Dutch titles, inscriptions, and Dutch verses below in two columns signed 'Philadelphus'. 1720
- Production date
Height: 444 millimetres
Width: 388 millimetres
- Curator's comments
The title is a couplet by Joost van den Vondel. (cf Shakespeare's "All the world's a stage..."). The verse is signed with the pseudonym 'Philadelphus', this pseudonym was used by Gysbert Tyssens (1693-1732) who also wrote six plays concerning the 'Wind Trade'. (see comment BM 1868,0808.9629).
The figure here described as Commerce or Industry was identified mistakenly by Stephens as Constancy.
One of a collection of prints bound together in two volumes c.1721 known as 'Het Groote Tafereel der Dwaasheid'; for more information, see 1868,0808.9602.
- Not on display
- Associated events
- Associated Event: Financial Bubble 1720
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number