It’s All About The Herring

Herring with bread, beer, scallions and  . . .  a beetle??

Herring with dried out black bread, a gloomy potato and a glum turnip

Pickled herring as food and as delightful frame for what looks like a gravestone

It’s difficult to decide in this piece whether the ham and the herring are about to bite each other, marry each other, or waltz together.

Here we have our herring ready to eat with onion, apple, walnut, and yet another insect, this time a big flying one rather than a beetle.

The herringpackers are obviously working very fast to get all these herrings to the table. It looks as if one of them expired on top of a pile of herring. Maybe he’s just taking a nap. I don’t blame him.

I have to wonder whether any of these paintings are sophistical refutations. Red herring, anyone?

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7 thoughts on “It’s All About The Herring

  1. Great pix, Karen – what’s with the little insects? And dry instead of fresh bread? These are the kinds of suggestive paintings that in grade school were were given to write imaginative stories about. That was fun.

  2. i love herring, what we call ‘renga’ in greece
    used to have it more often abroad than i do here, but love it all the same, especially the preserved salty one, warmed up over an open fire, slightly charred

  3. I think that insects and beetles are used in a religious connotation, since they are together with religious symbols: bread, fish and wine. Perhaps, the stag beetle symbolizes the victor over evil and the insect is the symbol of the soul.

  4. I’d thought so too, Mariana – but a (very quick) search hadn’t yielded me any proofs. Interesting, though, no? My thoughts were that the herring was representative of the surge of life (since herring have such a large place to play in the history of foodstuffs of so many peoples) and that the insect(s) were representative of the death which approaches all life. But then again, beetles were talismans of some sort at various times, weren’t they? But I don’t know what they represent in Christianity, and these paintings seem to be so steeped in that symbolism . . .

    Fascinating . . .

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