Jordaens, Jacob

, a painter of history and portraits, possessed of very superior abilities in his art, was born at Antwerp in 1594. He first studied with Adam Van Oort, whose daughter he married at an early period of his life but it was to Rubens he stood indebted for the principal part of his knowledge; though it is dubious whether he ever was admitted into the school of that master. Certain it is, however, that he more forcibly carried into effect his principles than any of his disciples, except Vandyke. It is said by Sandrart, that Rubens was jealous of him, but this assertion is generally thought to be unfounded; yet if so great a man were capable of that mean passion, certainly the talents of Jordaens might well excite it. He painted with almost incredible force and brilliancy. Neither Rubens nor Tintoretto, in that respect, excel him; his compositions are full of bustle, and designed with great truth, even grandeur of form. His defect (and it must be allowed that it is a great one, in an art whose principal end is to adorn, to improve, to please mankind) is grossness of subject and of form; not indecent, but vulgar, low common life. His power to give rotundity and relief to his figures, is amazing; and his execution is of the most masterly kind. The French have possessed themselves of many of his principal works; two are particularly noticeable in the gallery of the Louvre, the Flemish celebration. of Twelfth night, known by the appellation of “L’e Roi boit,” and Christ driving the money-changers from the temple. He was remarkable for the rapidity of his execution, and appears to have studied his figures and effects by candle-light, or in bright sun-shine. Having obtained great renown and success, he died in 1678. 2

2

Pilkiofton. Argenville, vol, III. Sir Joshua Reynolds’s Works, see ladex, Rees’s Cyclopædia.

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