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Jacob Jordaens

1593 - 1678

Place Born

Antwerp

Place Died

Antwerp

Bio

Apprenticed to Adam van Noort in 1607, Jacob Jordaens was registered as a master painter by the Guild of St. Luke in Antwerp in 1615, becoming dean of the Guild in 1621. In 1616 he married his teacher’s eldest daughter. Jordaens received a number of major commissions both from private and civic sources, one of the first of which was a collaboration with Rubens and Cornelis de Vos in 1634 for a series of festive decorations. After Ruben’s death in 1640 and van Dyck’s in 1641, Jordaens enjoyed great prestige in Antwerp until his death there in 1678.

Jacob Jordaens at first acquaintance appears the quintessentially Flemish painter of his century, alive to native tradition in colour, design and choice of subject, the illustrator of Flemish life and of Flemish proverbs. Jacob Jordaens lived nowhere but Antwerp, nor travelled further than Amsterdam. Indeed when he changed houses it was just from the Everdijstraat to the Hoogstraat, or in the Hoogstraat from one house to the next in order to join the two.’ Jacob Jordaens was apprenticed to one master only, Adam van Noort, who like himself never went to Italy.

However, Jacob Jordaens, unlike van Noort, was not to be of merely provincial reputation. Within his lifetime the demand for his work extended far beyond the bound of Flanders: to Uppsala, to London, to Vienna, to Florence and to Turin, as well as to Amsterdam and The Hague. Amongst his pupils, of whom the names of more than a score are registered, one came from Poland, another was recommended from Sweden. His fame was spread abroad by sets of tapestries woven by the Brussels weavers from his cartoons, and by impressions from copperplates engraved after his designs in Antwerp, as well as by paintings.

Jacob Jordaens illustrated stories from Aesop, Homer, Ovid and Livy; as well as ‘the homely saws of Jacob Cats’. Jacob Jordaens depicted the moment in her banquet for Anthony when Cleopatra dissolves her pearl in wine; and lie did so with a gusto outdone only by his relish for the moment in the Epiphany Feast when the Twelfth Night King raises his glass to drink. As a narrator he lacked the more profound scholarly instincts of Rubens, or his brand of Christian Stoicism. But Jacob Jordaens moralized his tales generally without pedantry: the history of Alexander or of Ulysses or of Charlemagne, as well as the Acts of the Apostles or the Parables of the New Testament. Cheerful incidents in the life of the Holy Family he made as vividly accessible as the incidents of his own household or of his neighbour’s. But his deep feelings for the tragic scenes of the Passion – he was in this a true follower of Caravaggio – transmogrified ordinary types and commonplace objects.

Available Art Works

The Satyr and the Peasant Family

Work Available
Historical Period: 1600-1720 Baroque
The Satyr and the Peasant Family

Art Works Sold

Hermes at Calypso’s Table

Sold or not Available
Historical Period: 1600-1720 Baroque
Hermes at Calypso’s Table
Moses Striking the Rock

Sold or not Available
Moses Striking the Rock
St Ivo Patron

Sold or not Available
Historical Period: 1600-1720 Baroque
St Ivo Patron