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Abraham Jansens
Netherlands 1576−1632
Biography and information

Studied with J. Snelling (1583), visited Italy (1586-1601; perhaps the second trip approx. 1604-1605), where he was influenced by Caravaggio. With master 1601, 1606 Dean of the painters ' Guild. Worked in Antwerp. Wrote religious, allegorical and mythological pictures. Unlike a number of contemporary Flemish painters, which developed in line with caravaggism, the artist's work was marked by features of greater independence and freshness, pornotravestis his images and the decorative compositions there is a direct relationship with the traditions of national painting. Static figures differed monumental character, the flavor was dominated by local colors. With con. The 1620s was heavily influenced by the art of Rubens.

In the early seventeenth century painting in Flanders is undergoing a period of rapid development. An increasing number of artists and workshops, as well as expanding the range of customers. Chief among them was the Church in need of a large altar, the ability not only to interest the audience with his story, but to capture it emotionally. However, the picture had to match the flamboyance of the Baroque style that dominated Europe at the time. Another customer was the nobility, who prefer to decorate their castles and palaces huge mural paintings. They depicted hunting scenes, landscapes, religious, allegorical and mythological subjects. Few artists besides Rubens and Jordaens, can work in several areas of painting. Therefore, among the painters there is a specialization, not so narrow as in Holland, but the appropriate division of paintings into genres. Not the last place among these masters was occupied by Abraham Janssens, a master of figural compositions. Janssens was one.Oh of the most interesting figures in the circle of the Antwerp artists of the first third of the XVII century. Unlike the majority, which was under the great influence of Rubens, Janssens had in painting his own face. One time he even was the only rival of the great painter. The Janssens himself was not free from the charm of Rubens. But he skillfully combined this with the traditions of the old Romanism, the Netherlands and caravaggism. Janssens was born, lived and died in Antwerp. This city since the XV century it was considered one of the main centers of Flemish art. Here was founded and flourished the famous Guild (a kind of Union of painters) St. Luke. I must say that of all arts it is the painting that was revered in Antwerp and throughout Flanders, the most. Therefore, all wizards have sought this city in which peacefully coexisted with very different, sometimes completely opposite directions painting. Before the young artist opened up unlimited choices style and styles. Janssens went to study to the Ya Snelling, faithful follower of Martin de Vos and, consequently, representative of late mannerism. In 1598, the Janssens going to Rome. Rome at that time played in Europe the same role, that of Antwerp in Flanders. Here flocked the best forces in European art, there was formed a new direction. One of them, who later became known as caravaggism (named after its founder Caravaggio), was and fashion. A few years caravaggism spread throughout Europe. There are few artists, in one way or another do not fall under his influence. Janssens, the artist seeks young, vividly perceived artistic foundations of caravaggism. They mainly consisted in avoiding of the fine principles of academism with his detachment from life and a tendency to dogmatism. Caravaggio openly appealed to reality in all its, at times even crude, manifestations. He also completely revised the laws of composition, lighting and images of the body in motion. All these new ideas Janssens brought home.

On his return to Antwerp Janssens is already in 1601 the master, that is, acquires the right to have a picturesque Studio. And 160.6 year he was elected Dean of the Guild of St. Luke. He became one of the first artists of Antwerp, albeit briefly, as in 1608, returned from Italy who has lived there for several years Ruben - the first true painter of Flanders. Nevertheless, Janssens continued to conduct the creative activity. From his Studio in the 10 th-20-ies, a huge number of paintings. It's hard, sometimes becoming a cold manner largely opposes the Rubenesque sensuality, of course had to have fans. In the paintings of this time (for example, "the raising of Lazarus", the Church SEI-Pierre in Douai) master skillfully reveals what is given to him with the greatest success - the image of the plastic authenticity of the human body. Movement in a complex perspective, a variety of gestures, the relationship shapes and spatial change of plans - that's the power of works of Janssens. In his painting "Antwerp and the Scheldt" (1610, Antwerp, Royal Museum of fine arts)- allegorical picture of the capital of Flanders and of the river on which it stands - the ability to make classically clear the song reaches its climax. However, more characteristic of the last thirty years of the artist's life remain his religious works written in the traditional Dutch genre of the altar of the image. For example, later "Crucifixion"* from a Museum in Valenciennes written with all the rules and canons. In the centre is the cross with the crucified Christ, the sides of which two crucified robbers. At the foot of the cross the virgin and Christ's favorite disciple John, the kneeling Mary Magdalene, and Mary the wife of Clopas. All figures are painted with almost sculptural tactility, volume. Their robes fluttering lush Baroque folds, especially the red cloak of Mary sleepaway. The posture of the crucified robbers also transferred with great skill. However, the picture prevails a feeling of theatricality and artificiality. It's like a tribute to Rubens ' genius, but devoid of his huge vitality.

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