Nightwatchman’s chair

I’ve always had a soft spot for uncomfortable furniture. So I was delighted to find the image of this little stool inspired by Pieter Bruegel’s Twelve Proverbs expertly crafted by “Yorkshire Stewart” His description and Bruegel’s painting are below.

Nightwatchman's chair, Yorkshire Stewart.


“In the Musée Mayer van der Bergh, Antwerp, Belgium is an oil painting on wood by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1525 – 1569). It depicts Twelve Flemish Proverbs. One of the proverbs shows a peasant sitting on the floor between two stools. The text on the panel tells us: ‘In the past I was the greatest glutton of all. Now I have lost everything and I am left sitting in the ashes between two stools.’

The triangular stools were a Northern European style throughout the Middle Ages. The type appeared in many paintings of the 15th to 17th Century and were acceptable to all levels of society.

The style is sometimes called a nightwatchman’s chair or I’ve heard it called a cockfighting chair as it’s just as comfortable leaning forward; legs straddling the upright.”

Twelve Proverbs, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, c. 1560. (Image: WikiPaintings)

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