Flora’s Wagon of Fools

Flora Wagon of Fools Hendrik Pot
Flora’s Wagon of Fools by Hendrik Pot (c. 1637)

The flower goddess Flora, with tulips in her hand, is enthroned on a triumphal chariot, here represented as a carnival cart. She is accompanied by three men in fool’s caps. ‘Tosspot’ cannot resist drink, ‘Wealthwill’ clutches a bag of gold, and ‘Lie-all’ exercises his smooth tongue. Mistress ‘Rake-it-in’ weighs her money, and the bird of hope escapes Mistress ‘Vain Hope’. The carnival cart is followed by the Haarlem weavers, many of whom had invested heavily in the tulip speculation. In the background can be seen St Bavo’s Cathedral. In this picture the painter Pot ridicules the speculation in tulips; it was painted in about 1640, soon after the collapse of the tulip boom.

On Display in the Frans Hals Museum, located in Haarlem, the Netherlands. The museum was established in 1862. In 1950, the museum was split in two locations when the collection of modern art was moved to the Museum De Hallen.

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