Sunday, March 10, 2013

Struggle for Life

I'm guessing this is an allegorical image and it looks pretty disastrous for what could've just been a boatload of naked people, all minding their own business. That poor baby is being swept right out of the picture, and the blindfolded guy at the rudder seems pretty darn calm considering what a ruckus is going on around him ("What's going on, people? C'mon, somebody tell me. Why's the baby crying?"). Whoosh. All this makes a lot of our struggles seem pret-ty tame, I must say.

Henry Delacroix — Struggle for Life — 1893


Annie said...

Hi Thom,

I can't tell if they are pulling people into the boat, or throwing them out. Plus, one man's arm is raised with a knife in his hand. There are two young children, and one of the babies is tossed into the air over the water! In a first search, I couldn't find a reference to the meaning of this painting.

Sylvia said...

I've seen quite a few similar pictures, often titled "The Ship of Fools". The allegory dates to the Renaissance, when European towns would sometimes get rid of insane people by loading them onto a ship and setting it adrift, leaving their fate in the hands of God. The Catholic church was also sometimes referred to as "the ship of fools" (presumably by Protestants).