Kenneth Craig – Proverb’s Progress

Kenneth Craig’s excellent paper takes a sweeping look at examples of fool-peeping-through-fingers paintings and prints, as presented in our Five Guys Named Moe series.  Like Cavalli-Björkman’s earlier paper, but more comprehensively, it discusses the underlying proverb which suggests these fools are all turning a blind eye, whether to things they don’t wish to see, or perhaps to folly or other failings (ours, their own, the world’s).  

The paper references the first four in our Five Guys Named Moe series:

together with our Moe 6, the Vogtherr wood-cut, and a number of other examples in prints we have yet to feature. 


Cavalli-Björkman, Görel, ‘The Laughing Jester’, Nationalmuseum Bulletin, Stockholm, 9:2 (1985), pp. 100-109.

Craig, Kenneth, ‘Proverb’s Progress: a Fool Looking Through His Fingers’, in The Great Emporium: The Low countries as a Cultural Crossroad in the Renaissance and the Eighteenth Century (Amsterdam, 1992), pp. 105–36.


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