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Although these Flemish Baroque painters are often compared to each other, all three artists are very different and must be considered separately as individuals. Rubens was considered a humanist and van Dyck came from a patrician family. Both artists were culturally literate, had travelled extensively and spoke several languages. Unlike his contemporary colleagues, Jordaens had never travelled abroad to study Italian painting. Unlike them, Jordaens was considered to be less tied to court painting. It is often said that his works defied any intellectuality or classical education, due to the classification of his paintings in genre painting. However, this must be contradicted: Jordaens did indeed spend his entire life in Antwerp, apart from a few short trips to inland rural areas or to Holland (The Hague) for picture commissions - but like Rubens, Jordaens also painted altarpieces, mythological and allegorical scenes. Jordaens was often inspired by Ovid's Metamorphoses, which shows his familiarity with ancient themes very well. Jordaens was not only a successful painter, but was also known for his design of tapestries. After the death of Rubens in 1640, Jordaens established himself as Antwerp's most important artist and was in great demand for many large commissions (also from important courts).

Jacob Jordaens, also Jacob Jordaens the Elder (* 19 May 1593 in Antwerp; † 18 October 1678 Antwerp) was a Flemish painter of the Baroque period, draughtsman and tapestry designer known for his historical paintings, genre scenes and portraits.
Along with Peter Paul Rubens and Anthonis van Dyck, Jacob Jordaens was one of the three most important Flemish Baroque painters who shaped the 'Antwerp School' in the 17th century.


Jacob Jordaens


Oil on canvas, 288,0 x 436,0 cm 
 Musée du Louvre, Paris, France 
 © Bridgeman Images

64 | Christ Driving the Merchants from the Temple (Christus vertreibt die Kaufleute aus dem Tempel), c. 1650



Jordaens is known today for his large and numerous scenic pictures of genre painting, inspired by the proverbs of his contemporary Jan Brueghel the Elder, such as his most famous artworks The King Drinks and As the Old Sang, So the Young Pipe. In terms of modern science and new research findings, Jordaens is one of the important history painters of his time, who was able to intellectually engage with ancient and humanistic pictorial content and link it to a historical image of man. Above all, Jordaens stands out for the remarkably designed details in his paintings. He was largely under the artistic influence - alongside that of Rubens and the Brueghel family - of northern Italian painters such as Jacopo Bassano, Paolo Veronese and Caravaggio.

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