portrait of a noblewoman c 1655 circle of hieronymus janssens

Portrait of a Noblewoman c 1655; Circle of Hieronymus Janssens.



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Oil on oak panel in an elaborate later frame.
This charming small scale portrait of a young Flemish noblewoman c.1650 is laden with symbolism; it is almost certainly to do with her impending marriage.
As well as wearing many pearls she also holds a large one close to her heart; this symbolises her purity.
The table is draped with a cloth bearing her family coat of arms, and on the cloth is a dish containing fruit, a reference to the girl's future fruitfulness, there is also a sliced pomegranate, this also symbolizes fertility; this fruit is full of seeds. Wedding pictures featured one of these fruits shown half-opened. The meaning is a hundred seeds, or more completely, a hundred sons.
Close to the edge of the table, almost falling off, is a rose .. the flower of love.. but also symbolising the very fleeting nature of youth and indeed life itself.
HIERONYMOUS JANSSENS (1624 - 1693) was a Flemish genre painter known for his compositions depicting elegant sitters often engaging in dance, music or play, which were of influence on the development of the genre of the conversation piece. One of his most famous dance pieces depicts King Charles II of England dancing with his sister Mary of Orange at a ball in The Hague during the period of his exile
He also painted architectural scenes of real or imaginary palaces, churches, temples and art galleries.
He was a student of Christoffel Jacobsz van der Laemen in 1636-1637. He was first registered as a Master in the Guild of Saint Luke of Antwerp in 1643-1644.
He married Catharina van Dooren in 1650. He took on four pupils including Jacob Lafosse in 1651-52.
SIZE: Panel: 15.25 x 12.50 inches.
Framed: 23.5 x 21.5 inches.
PROVENANCE: Old private collection in the Welsh Borders.
Internal Ref: 9071


Height = 60 cm (24")
Width = 54 cm (21")
Depth = 4 cm (2")

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