Oil on oak panel. Flemish school early 17th century.
Between mountain and river, horse riders, pedestrians and shepherds animate a poetic landscape. Our composition seems to be a vanity in which life would be personified by the waterfall and death by the petrified tree that holds out its arms.
This way of personifying the elements of nature and giving them life characterizes the painting of Momper in his youth, it is one of his marks of style. It will even go, probably under the influence of the painting of Arcimboldo, to give a human form to rocks or mountains in some works, it is the anthropomorphic landscapes.
Our painting offers an atmospheric perspective with red-brown colors very present in the foreground. Moving forward in the background, the palette slides to yellow-green to finish in gray-blue tones for the deepest plane. It is an oblique line of flight that allows the articulation of everything towards a distant horizon. This technique of composition is already old at the time of the realization of the work and Joos de Momper made another mark of style in his youth.
The points of light placed here or there on the vegetation or on the waves bring relief or accentuate the depth.
Mark of the Antwerp hand on the back of the panel. Emphasized by a beautiful style frame with reversed profile in blackened wood.
Size: 16,33 x 23,62 in. the sight - 22,05 x 29,33 in. with the frame.
Joos de Momper or Joos II the Younger (Antwerp 1564 - Id. 1635) belongs to a dynasty of painters and art dealers. Thus, he learns painting with his father Bartholomeus. Received as a master at the Guild of Saint-Luc in Antwerp at the age of 17, he became Dean in 1611.
With a new look, both lyrical and powerful, his mountainous landscapes meet a real success and make him a major painter of his time. A trip to Italy, probably between 1581 and 1590, is at the origin of this vision of broad mountain panoramas.
The quantity of "Mompériens" paintings is such that his studio was largely populated with pupils. Joos de Momper signed only a few works.
For decorations, he collaborated with other painters, including Rubens, Hendrick van Balen and Jan Brueghel the Elder. An account dating from 1595 indicates that Momper drew cartons for the Gobelins factory.
Paintings of Joos de Momper are in the biggest museums: 4 compositions at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, 5 at the Prado de Madrid, 4 at the Gemäldegalerie Dresden, 5 at the Louvre Museum in Paris, but also at the Hermitage of Saint Petersburg, the Art Institute of Chicago or the famous Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.