The Dancing Fools


I had a brief run-in with historical reenacting which started sometime in early 2017; what followed was a roughly two-year flurry of clumsy late-night hand-sewing, leather-punching, metal-filing, wood-carving, open-fire-cooking and even a little sign-painting, not to mention the hundreds of dollars spent on period-correct wool and the nights spent “roughing it” under a canvas flap.

This illustrative triptych (below) was created as a tribute to three good friends, all reenactors.

The full triptych; these illustrations were also sold individually at historical events.

Each frame shows the subject “in kit” (wearing historical 17th c. clothing). All garments shown are items they own and wear regularly to historical events, having either made them themselves or commissioned them from a like-minded craftsperson. The whimsical poses are a nod to “Twelve Fools,” a series created by Dutch golden age caricaturist Pieter Jansz. Quast.

Portrait one of three (though it was the last one to be finished). The subject here is a close personal friend, so it was difficult for me to be satisfied with the likeness.
The first portrait to be completed; it wasn’t decided until after this one was finished that there would be a full set of three.
My favorite of the three illustrative portraits; this one evokes its real-life subject exceedingly well.