Ugly Seven - Michelle Jaggi

This gallery takes a look at some of the etchings from the 17th century representing the capital vices, also known as the seven deadly sins. While the main focus is the series of Jacques Callot, other interpretations of the cardinal sins - Anger, Envy, Gluttony, Greed, Lust, Pride, and Sloth - are included.

The first example I have in Pride, this piece uses great detail to show the woman's wealth and good health. The peacock itself is a symbol of royalty, and it is accompanied by the woman's jewelry and intricate gown. Even her hair is adorned with jewels, and her chest is exposed, which was considered a sign of chastity in the 17th century.
The woman is the focal point in this piece. Everything about her - from her elegant hair to the high-frilled evening gown to the simple but beautiful mirror in her hand - shows she is wealthy. She takes great satisfaction in it and in herself, making her the exact definition of Pride.
Here is the final part of the Pride section, and the start of Jacques Callot's series. Notice how he includes the peacock, high-frilled dress, mirror, and jewelry as seen in the previous entries. What Jacques included, which made his series unique, was the little demon above the girl. As you will see as the series goes on, every demon seems to be directing the person into their sin.
Sloth, or laziness, is shown by a poor girl sitting on the ground next to a mule. Mules are most commonly known for their refusal to do what is needed to be done, so it is probably in the picture for symbolism. A demon watches over the girl in the background while another flies off with a man n tow.
A old woman counts her money, even though there is plenty more wealth at her feet. The demon above her head is dangling another bag of gold as if to taunt her even more. As Greed is most often represented by a frog, one is lurking in the old woman's shadow.
The woman in this piece is enjoying her wine, with plenty more to drink. She appears to have a large waist, suggesting she has been dining often as well. A demon is directing her actions, while the boar in the background - the representation of Gluttony - eats greedily at her feet.
The man in this etching is clearly dressed for war in his armor, brandishing a sword and shield. War is the most destructive event caused by mankind's wrath. Behind him is a lion poised and ready to attack, while a demon seems o be dive-bombing the man to increase his anger.
In this picture stands a beautiful woman boldly posing with a little bird. A mere sheet covers very little of her body. She has no shame in revealing everything to any who would look upon her, and once again the demon seems to be directing the person in their sin.
On old thin woman looks on, as if she sees something she wants or wishes she could have. She is accompanied by a sickly dog, the very representation of Envy. Maybe she is wishing harm on a beautiful young girl across the way. A demon pulls at her hair, which seems snake-like on closer inspection.
The last piece in my gallery is Heinrich Aldegrever's interesting interpretation of the sin Envy. In this intricate etching, the woman can be seen with many of her own things, though they seem distorted (possibly due to her own corruption). However, she obviously sees something else she wants in the distance.
Credits: All media
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