Museums and Art

“Family portrait”, Jacob Jordaens - description of the painting

“Family portrait”, Jacob Jordaens - description of the painting

Family portrait - Jacob Jordaens. 178 x 152 cm

Looking at this picture, even a layman in the history of art will say that it belongs to the Baroque era. Everything on it is redundant, rich, luxurious. Fanciful poses, lush body, beautiful fabrics emphasize the complex composition of the picture, fancy folds and a very spectacular combination of colors. It is safe to say that the artist was heavily influenced by Rubens. But this work of Jordaens is more decorative than semantic.

The backdrop for the family group is a landscape depicted in rich, dark brownish-green tones. Against its background, decorative elements of luxurious carvings and a large ceramic vessel with a flowering plant are barely visible. But such a dark and intense color background is perfect for light, literally shining figures in the foreground.

A full-haired man is dressed less brightly than charming ladies, but no less richly and attractively. He is wearing a bluish-green camisole made of thick silk and lighter knee-length trousers according to the fashion of that time. A snow-white shirt is visible from under the unbuttoned collar of the camisole and from its sleeves. His clothes look more modest at first glance compared to the dresses of his ladies, but this impression is misleading. One has only to look at how the silk of his clothes shimmers with different colors, reflecting the reliefs from all neighboring things, as it becomes clear that this is a very expensive valuable fabric.

The man’s long brown hair is curled with curls, and his left hand rests on the rich shoulder of his puffy wife.

The woman in the center of the canvas is a true compositional focus. Her pale gold skirt is laid out with very beautiful large folds. The artist managed to perfectly convey the texture of the fabric - it seems as if sprinkled with the finest golden pollen.

For the harmony of the image, the outfit of a standing woman echoes in color and saturation with the clothes of a man. Her skirt is darker and “thicker” yellow with golden tints, a shawl of sea-green color is thrown over her shoulders.

In the hands of both women are beautiful elegant wreaths of fresh flowers. They and the colorful parrot on the lady's hand in the center complete the color palette of the picture.

The well-being of the family is emphasized not only by luxurious outfits and expensive fabrics. Women are literally hung with jewelry, so the viewer cannot have a different opinion - we have before us representatives of the rich classes of the then society.


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