- Inventory number
- Brueghel “the Elder”, Jan
- Taste, Hearing and Touch
- Ca. 1620
- 176 cm x 264 cm
- On display
- Royal Collection (Royal Palace of El Pardo, Madrid, “sala de los retratos”, 1701, n. 124; El Pardo Palace, pieza séptima, 1747, n. 59; New Royal Palace, Madrid, “paso de tribuna y trascuartos”, 1772, n. 917; New Royal Palace, Madrid, “pieza de trucos”, 1794, n. 917; Royal Palace, Madrid, “pieza de trucos”, 1814-1818, n. 917)
The dinner guests occupying the center of the composition symbolize the senses. Music and the singing children are hearing, and the young woman petting a mink is touch. The young woman preparing to eat some oysters symbolizes taste, while the monkey pulling on a cupid's hair also symbolizes touch.
Of equal significance are the animals and paintings in the room. The Annunciation on the top of the clavichord and Minerva's Visit to Parnassus allude to hearing; The Dentist refers to touch, and The Punishment of Rich Epulon and The Wedding at Cana allude to the sense of taste.
Gerard Seghers and Frans Francken "the Younger" were the artists collaborating with Brueghel de Velours on this work.
This piece is paired with the allegory of Sight and Smell (P01403). Both arrived in Madrid in 1623 for the decoration of the Torre de la Reina at the Alcázar Palace.