What the monk is he doing?
April 6, 2015 12:59 PM   Subscribe

In Eduard von Grützner's painting Vor der Brotzeit, the monk has something in his hand. What is it?
posted by naturalog to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Nice painting! I bet it's a snuff box.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 1:04 PM on April 6, 2015 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Yeah, looks like snuff.
posted by cooker girl at 1:06 PM on April 6, 2015

Best answer: He's taking a pinch of snuff, I'd say.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:22 PM on April 6, 2015

Best answer: Snuff also fits with the hand positioning. Some people take it off the back of their hand/thumb area:

posted by Michele in California at 1:39 PM on April 6, 2015

The title translates to For the Snack. I think he's holding a tankard. This fits with the artist's reputation for painting monks imbibing.
posted by bearwife at 1:41 PM on April 6, 2015

Best answer: The tankard is on the table. I agree it looks like he's taking a pinch of snuff. Similar item is in this other von Grützner painting which is actually titled "A Pinch of Snuff"
posted by Wretch729 at 1:50 PM on April 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thank you all so much! The possibility of it being a snuff box had crossed my mind, but it's nice to see that so many other people agree with me.
posted by naturalog at 2:00 PM on April 6, 2015

> The title translates to For the Snack.

No, it means 'Before Breakfast/Teatime/Snacktime' (depending on how people used the word in nineteenth-century Upper Silesia); vor is 'before,' not 'for.'
posted by languagehat at 8:33 AM on April 7, 2015 [2 favorites]

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