The Ides of April
Apr 15, 2011
The guy behind the desk with the papers in his hands and the moneybags scattered all about–today is his day, April 15. He's the taxman, and he owns us.
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?