Jacob Jordaens Biography | Oil Painting

5-19-1593 Antwerp, BEL - 10-8-1678 Antwerp, BEL

Jordaens, Jacob

Like Rubens, Jacob Jordaens studied under Adam van Noort, who was his only teacher. During this time Jordaens lived in Van Noort's house and became very close to the rest of the family. Following eight years of artistic training with Van Noort, he enrolled in the Guild of St. Luke as a watercolor artist.

Jacob Jordaens was one of the few artists that never made the traditional trip to Italy to study classical and Renaissance art. Despite this, he made many efforts to study prints or works of Italian masters available in northern Europe. His commissions came from wealthy local Flemish patrons and the church, although later in his career he worked for courts and governments across Europe. He did a large number of monumental oil paintings and was also a prolific tapestry designer.

Jacob Jordaens's significance is seen by the number of pupils he taught, fifteen at the Guild of St. Luke from 1621 to 1667, and six as private students. The Antwerp school was one of the most triumphant currents of European Baroque art, and Jacob Jordaens was perhaps its most spectacular exponent. In his oil painting Jordaens' Family in a Garden, the artist does not depict himself at the easel or in a painter's smock, but extremely elegant attire, holding a lute instead of a palette. His family is enjoying the relaxing atmosphere and the shade of the garden in full bloom at the end of summer, with a gushing fountain and a young maid carrying a basket of ripe grapes. The delightful little blond girl is portrayed smiling and timid, with a gentle blush suffusing her cheeks and an expression that is both coy and curious; a figure worthy of a Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

Jordaens was influenced by Peter Paul Rubens who every so often utilized him to reproduce small sketches into a larger format. Jacob Jordaens was only moderately successful as a portrait painter of individuals but excelled in group portraits showing the character and personality of the people. His classically inspired peasant themes and large-scale moralistic genre scenes influenced Jan Steen.

Besides being a well-known portrait painter, Jordaens also painted and etched biblical, mythological, and allegorical subjects. After Rubens' death in 1640 Jordaens became Antwerp's new leading artist.

Art Movement: Baroque Art.
Artists Influencing Jacob Jordaens: Adam van Noort, Peter Paul Rubens.
Painters Jacob Jordaens Influenced: Jan Steen.
Artist's Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist, with text adapted from Wikipedia.

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