Abraham Janssens "Inkonstanz, Allegorie der Unbeständigkeit" 1617
So here is a stunning and mysterious painting I would love to know more about. The artist, Abraham Janssens, is Flemish (what is it about that crew that made them such fantastic painters?!), and his name is spelled differently all over the internet, and sometimes with a "van Nuyssen" at the end. The title of the painting seems to translate to "Inconstancy, Allegory of Instability." I must say I do find the title to be disappointing, considering the nature of the piece. The moon, the crayfish, and the bat don't strike me as symbols of inconstancy at all. In fact, I confess I've always hated that "O, swear not by the moon, the inconstant moon" line from Romeo & Juliet. What could be more consistent than the lunar cycle? The moon's shape transforms, sure, but I would hardly call it unpredictable! Anyway, rant aside, I do think this painting is absolutely marvelous, and wish there was more information about its creation and deeper meaning.