Offered by Galerie FC Paris
Flemish school of the 17th century.
Interior of the cathedral of Antwerp animated with characters and in particular in the center, a prelate conversing with a gentleman.
Quite common in Flanders at that time, we can see that some women wear this strange black cloak attached to a headdress with a handle at the top allowing it to be easily removed.
Oil on oak panel (parquet)
Flemish style frame in black and gold molded wood.
Total dimensions 64 x 79 cm. The panel alone : 47,5 x 62,5 cm
Pieter Neefs II, known as the Younger, born in Antwerp in 1620 and died around 1675, was a Flemish Baroque painter who, like his father, specialized in architectural views of church interiors. He worked in collaboration with Frans Francken III (1607-1667) to whom he entrusted the execution of the figures. Further evidence of a second hand is the fact that the decoration has "grown out" under the figures, which shows that the figures were painted afterwards by another specialized painter.
The painting of church interiors appeared in Flanders around 1570 with Hendrick van Steenwick the Elder. This new genre has its roots in the imaginary perspectives of Hans Vredeman de Vries (1527-1606) and developed throughout the 17th century. Numerous Flemish and Dutch painters specialized in this genre, whose vogue spread throughout Europe, particularly in France.
Our painting is a representative example of this practice. The composition focuses on a meticulous rendering of the decor and details such as the two paintings visible in the foreground: Saint Sebastian on the right and the Annunciation on the left; the tombstones, a lively crowd of characters, and two dogs.
In an effort to monumentalize, he increases the height in relation to the width, stretching the length of the columns and arches. He arranges the lines of the tiles longitudinally, to increase the sense of infinite distance, and minimizes the size of the figures to give the building even more scale.
The contrast between the deep shadows in the foreground and the bright parts in the distance leads the viewer's eye to a symbolic space bathed in an almost supernatural light.
The cathedral of Antwerp has lost its character as a place of meditation and silence and seems to be an integral part of the daily life of parishioners from all walks of life.
Very nice condition!