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One of the Seven Deathly Sins: Acadia or Sloth is being illustrated on this engraving by Pieter van der Heyden (ca. 1530–after 1572), made in Antwerp in 1558. This copy is part of the collection of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam [1, 3]. The female representation of Laziness (Desidia) is sleeping while resting on a donkey, and being surrounded by snails.

RMA RP-P-1887-A-12302

This engraving is based on a drawing by Pieter Brueghel (I), made in 1557, and now in the collection of the Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Vienna [2]. It is a typical Brueghelian picture, full of amusing details.

RKD 25664_Brueghel(1)

The three snails are all somewhat stylised. In the original drawing one is dextral, the other two sinistral; in the engraving they appear as mirror images. The shells are with relatively large apertures, the animals have two tentacles.

RMA RP-P-1887-A-12302_d1

RMA RP-P-1887-A-12302_d2

[1] RMA, inv. RP-P-1887-A-12302. http://hdl.handle.net/10934/RM0001.COLLECT.307895.
[2] https://rkd.nl/explore/images/25664.
[3] https://rkd.nl/explore/artists/38237.