Adriana Van Heusde, Emmanuel de Witte

Adriana Van Heusde, Emmanuel de Witte
Adriana Van Heusde, Emmanuel de Witte

It usually happens when we refer to painters that, on many occasions, the artists end up specializing in a specific pictorial genre or even in a particular theme. In this way, the artist paints endless works under the same theme and ends up becoming a true specialist; perhaps for this reason it is convenient that in order to truly know the artistic capacity of the painter, a work outside his speci alty is studied, this is precisely what we are going to do with the baroque painter Emmanuel de Witte.

Emmanuel de Witte (1617 – 1691) was one of the best representatives of the well-known Delft school, from where he developed a precious taste for interior scenes and more specifically for the interior of churches. The artist had a tumultuous life, his first wife died very young and the artist remarried a young woman of dubious reputation; In addition, Emmanuel's character towards his clients was not easy either and he ended up having more than one problem with those who were his patrons. As we pointed out earlier, the artist specialized in representing church interiors. In fact, each corner or perspective of the Amsterdam Cathedral was represented by the artist.


However, on this occasion we will analyze a different painting, which is set outdoors and represents the wife and daughter of one of his clients,it is the canvas AdrianaVan Heusden and his daughter at a fish market stall. This is an oil on canvas painting made around 1662; It is a small horizontal format painting, only sixty-five centimeters wide and just over fifty-seven centimeters high.

It depicts the woman picking up the fish handed to her by her shop assistant in a strange, almost turned position thatprevents eye contactbetween the two women. Behind the skirts of her mother, a girl of about six or seven years old appears, her daughter, who is represented with a shameful gesture. As for the saleswoman, we find a somewhat apathetic representation, who does not actually show any kind of gesture.

On the contrary, it is worth highlighting the virtuosity with which the artist has represented the fish stall that occupies almost the entire first term of the composition;the quality with which he represents dead animalsas if it were a real still life in this sense, we must not forget that one of the artist's speci alties was genre scenes

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