In the previous post, I included a detail from a painting by an artist of the period. I promise that I will disclose the name of the artist and the title of the painting in a later post. But, for now, here are two more details from the painting, accompanied by passages from The Autumn of the Middle Ages. Huizinga wrote in Dutch. The following translations are by Rodney Payton and Ulrich Mammitzsch from an edition published in 1996 by The University of Chicago Press.
"When the world was half a thousand years younger all events had much sharper outlines than now. The distance between sadness and joy, between good and bad fortune, seemed to be much greater than for us; every experience had that degree of directness and absoluteness that joy and sadness still have in the mind of a child. Every event, every deed was defined in given and expressive forms and was in accord with the solemnity of a tight, invariable life style."
"There was less relief available for misfortune and for sickness; they came in a more fearful and more painful way. Sickness contrasted more strongly with health. The cutting cold and the dreaded darkness of winter were more concrete evils. . . . Just as the contrast between summer and winter was stronger than in our present lives, so was the difference between light and dark, quiet and noise. The modern city hardly knows pure darkness or true silence anymore, nor does it know the effect of a single small light or that of a lonely distant shout."