Apr 15, 2011
Sometime between 1620 and 1640, the Flemish artist Pieter Breughel the Elder painted this scene, "Paying the Tax." The original painting was lost long ago, but we know it through some forty copies painted by the artist's son, Pieter Breughel the Younger.
Nothing subtle here. The villagers are struggling to settle up with eggs and produce and promises; the clerks are slovenly and unsympathetic, and the head taxman is all decked out in royal purple. Got the picture?