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Jordaens, Jacob

Antwerp, 1593 - Antwerp, 1678

A considerably long-lived and prolific artist, Jordaens is the third of the Flemish great masters of the 17th century. He trained in his city of birth with Adan van Noort. Unlike Rubens and Van Dyck he hardly set foot outside his home country and preferred the comfortable and quiet life of local places and environments. He collaborated with Rubens and was influenced by him, although he also preserved his own personality, displaying a particular independence in certain aspects. Whereas Van Dyck accentuates Rubens' aristocratic facet, Jordaens, contrast, is more inclined towards everyday scenes, and although he painted a few allegorical and mythological works, his lack of connection with the classical world is as remarkable as it is evident. He worked on the decoration of the Torre de la Parada hunting lodge from Flanders, producing paintings for the decorative series, and executed tapestry cartoons and works on canvas for Greenwich palace and in 1648 for Queen Christina of Sweden. When Rubens died in 1640 Jordaens completed his unfinished commissions in a manner that is close to the traditional style of the brilliant artist. He enjoyed international prestige and this, together with his interest in traditional Dutch customs and his Calvinist leanings, also secured him friendships in the Netherlands, where he his work was in frequent demand. Vigorous in expression and a lover of tangible reality, as an artist he was in closest contact with the environment of his time, following in the footsteps of a long line of Flemish artists concerned with the immediate and visible world, a far cry from the nostalgic heroic anecdotes, triumphal classical scenes and striking religious apotheoses of Rubens and his circle. The figures who populate his paintings are typically Flemish and their everyday attitudes betray the traditional lineage to which they belong, even displaying certain humorous features that considerably diminish the tendency of his painting towards classicism. One of Jordaens' most original paintings is "Three Travelling Musicians" (Madrid, Museo del Prado); it appears to be a sketch but displays such confident execution and such a naturalistic concept of expression that it is striking for its astonishing modernity. The brushstrokes are easily seen and are applied in isolated, loaded touches that are brief in places, and long in others, revealing the underlying ground layer. The boldness of the technique, use of light and tonal harmony set the work apart from others of the period and place it at the forefront of the artist's production (Luna, J. J.: From Titian to Goya. Great Masters of the Museo del Prado, National Art Museum of China-Shanghai Museum, 2007, p. 388).

Artworks (16)

Offering to Ceres
Oil on canvas, Ca. 1620
Jordaens, Jacob
Meleager and Atalanta
Oil on canvas, 1620 - 1623
Jordaens, Jacob
The Painter's Family
Oil on canvas, 1621 - 1622
Jordaens, Jacob
Marriage of Peleus and Thetis
Oil on canvas, 1636 - 1638
Jordaens, Jacob
Apolo vencedor de Pan
Oil on canvas, 1636 - 1638
Jordaens, Jacob
The Fall of the Giants
Oil on canvas, 1636 - 1638
Jordaens, Jacob
Cadmus and Minerva
Oil on canvas, 1636 - 1638
Jordaens, Jacob
Perseus freeing Andromeda
Oil on canvas, 1639 - 1641
Jordaens, Jacob; Rubens, Pedro Pablo
El amor de Cupido y Psique
Oil on canvas mounted on panel, 1640 - 1650
Jordaens, Jacob

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