It seems the artist had quite the sense of humor.
When you stop to think about the artwork that has existed for hundreds of years, it truly is amazing. Some of it has been so well preserved that we can see even the smallest details. At other times, it has been restored.
One portrait that is from the 15th century is the portrait of a German noblewoman. This is a rather interesting painting that depicts a woman, but it’s not often the human that gets the attention.
After all, when you investigate the picture a little further, you see that there is a housefly on her hat. It seems rather out of place, but in some ways, it has made the painting what it is today.
If you’ve ever wondered or if you are wondering now why the fly would be on her head in the painting, we have some information from the National Gallery in London. An associate curator of paintings, Francesca Whitlum-Cooper took a closer look at it and discovered something interesting.
According to Whitlum-Cooper, some of the reasons why this is such an amazing painting or because of all of the little details. It isn’t just the fly on her head, it is also the forget-me-not flower she is holding in her hand. It all has to do with symbolism.
As far as the flowers she is holding, they seem to be associated with class symbolism, very similar to the clothing she is wearing. That isn’t saying much for the fly, however, that doesn’t speak of her as being a noblewoman.
As it turns out, they feel that the reason the artist put a fly on her head was part of a joke. In Whitlum-Cooper’s estimation, it’s a double joke because those of us who are: “looking at it think ‘oh my gosh, there’s a fly on that painting.'”
In addition, the woman in the painting was surely aware of the fact that the joke was taking place. It would be impossible not to know that he was adding a fly in the painting and she likely would’ve had him remove it if she wasn’t in on it. Perhaps she was a trickster herself and was happy that she would be in on the joke that has lasted hundreds of years.