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Jacob Jordaens BiographyBelgian Baroque artist
born 1593 - died 1678
Jacob van Campen (1595-1657)
Jacob Jordaens painted religious,
mythological, historical subjects, portraits
and genre scenes, and big monumental
decorations. In his early period, marked by
the influence of
Caravaggio, the night scenes with
candle and moon light prevail. The young
master’s individuality was revealed on
big-scaled compositions, where several
full-length figures fill all the surface of
the Jacob Jordaens painting, which lack depth. This method
did not change during his working life.
Maybe it was the result of Jacob Jordaens painting on
wall-hangings, which he designed and painted
on linen and which his father sold.
|The talent of Jacob Jordaens revealed itself in genre painting; the artist took subjects from folklore – fables, proverbs, and tales. The museums of Moscow, Kassel, Budapest, Munich, Brussels have the variants of the painting The Satyr and the Farmer’s Family, painted on the plot of a fable. The Satyr is surprised by people’s hypocrisy: first a peasant blows on his hands to make them warm and then blows on his plate to make his porridge cold.|
The satyr, feeling Jacob Jordaens is being made a fool
of, jumps up. He liked to paint
burghers’ families especially during feasts,
the subject of ‘The Bean King” (or feast of
epiphany, celebrated on the day of adoration
of the magi), is repeated by the artist
several times. The scene is full of
vitality, and rough humour. In 1634, under
the supervision of Rubens, Jordaens, along with some other painters, worked on a
big commission from the Antwerp magistrate: the decorations for Prince
Ferdinand’s visit to the city.
After Rubens’ death, Jacob Jordaens became the leader of the Antwerp school, carrying out innumerable commissions for Church and Court between 1640 and 1650, including 22 pictures for the salon on Queen Henrietta Maria at Greenwich, work for the Scandinavia and French courts.
In 1650, the
artist adopted Calvinism, but continued to
receive commissions from the Catholic
Church. The masters of his workshop play
more and more important role in fulfilling
grandiose and pompous decorative paintings, and
Jacob Jordaens himself gradually looses his
originality. The artist died in 1678 in
Jacob Jordaens was one of the great Flemish Baroque artists along with Rubens and van Dyck.
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