Description of the picture:
Changed with his wife – Quentin Masseys. Around 1510-1515. Wood, oil. 71×68 The story of the life of urban inhabitants is presented in the picture of the Flemish painter Quentin Massey (1466-1530) “I changed with my wife“. Any detail that is not simply portrayed by the artist is fundamental in it. The head of the family, a money changer, is busy with his daily routine: he concentratedly looks at the balance of the scales, on which his own well-being directly depends. His young wife, turning the page of the prayer book, was distracted from the soul-saving reading and for a moment turned her gaze to the scales, which riveted the attention of the spouse. In her eyes, regret is read about the inconsistency of the real world with Christian values, the idea of which she takes from books and church services. Concern for increasing the money-changer’s income is opposed to his wife’s spiritual contemplation. And in a small round mirror lying on the table and turned towards the viewer, a pacified scene is reflected: a person sitting by the window is immersed in reading, and a church spire is shown in the window. This “picture-in-picture” illustrates the impeccable lifestyle that the young wife of the money changer aspires from the bottom of her heart, but she is torn off by constant pressing concerns."