"Allegory of Touch"
Abraham Janssen II, The Younger (Antwerp 1616- Rome 1649)
Oil painting on canvas
Carved wooden frame
Canvas size 80 x 91 frame 96 x 107
The painting, of the highest standard and of remarkable beauty, depicts a splendid lady in sumptuous clothes holding a parrot with her right hand raised. The hooked beak of her bird pricks her on her index finger and scratches it with her claws to clearly describe the sensation of Touch.
The monumentality of the figure, the vivid palette of colors and the elegant brushstroke are all typical characteristics of the most sumptuous Flemish painting of the seventeenth century and all the details of the scene lead to attribute this work to Abraham Janssens the Younger.
In fact, having taken over his father's workshop after his death in 1632, he created a series of magnificent allegorical canvases in bright colors, with feminine depictions of great charm and expressive efficacy.
He became a master of the famous Antwerp Guild of Saint Luke in 1636. and like many other Belgian and Dutch artists, Janssens later moved to Rome in 1639 to study Michelangelo's ancient sculpture and art closely.
He lived and worked in the city until 1649, where he shared a house with the landscape painter Johannes Lingelbach.
Janssens, working at a very young age in his father's workshop, obviously followed the style of his father, an important narrative painter in Antwerp at the beginning of the 17th century, but even more evidently the message of Peter Paul Rubens, like most of the Flemings of that epoch.
In this work, presumably painted in the 30/40 of 17th century, the color palette, the representation of the skin and the volumetric virtuosity, in particular attest to the influence of the great Master.
The work stands out not only for the evident pictorial qualities of the first order, but also for an excellent state of conservation.
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