They were always writing – The Usurers, Marinus van Reymerswaele

Avevano sempre la penna in mano. «Sono ore 21» dice Datini
«e non ò mangiato né bevuto e sono stato uno dì a sedere che mai
sono uscito di casa, e sono per istare insino a sera sanza mangiare
e domane sono per fare il simile». Qui l’artista aspira a catturare
un tale fanatismo, con l’implicazione che il godimento dell’usuraio
stava nel suo ossessivo annotare, calcolare e gongolare, il corpo
curvo e teso sopra una penna in costante movimento.

They were always writing. “It is the ninth hour,” says Datini “
and I have not yet eaten nor drunk, and I have been seated all day,
without ever going out, and shall not eat until tonight… tomorrow
I intend to do the same.” Here the painter looks to capture this
fanatic mind-set, with the implication that the usurer’s enjoyment
lay in obsessive recording, calculating and gloating, the body
curved and constrained over the constantly moving pen.

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