This work in which the Flemish painterJacob Jordaens(1593 – 1678) has portrayed himself with his entire family is currently kept in thePrado Museum in Madrid. And it is an oil painting on canvas of a respectable size, about 180 x 180 centimeters, which gives it a square format that is somewhat strange for this type of work.
The family of the painter of Jordaens
It is a very intimate scene, common in portraits of Dutch painting. We see all the members of the family in an area of their residence, possibly in a garden or outside space, so their animals also appear. The painter is portrayed in a moment of prosperity, and this is clear in the poses, in the stately setting of the garden, and even in the fact that the servant appears carrying a basket of grapes, a symbol of we alth.
This type of scene was common among the Flemish painters during the Baroque art, as they wanted to not only dignify their profession, but even praise it, showing themselves as important types within the society of their time and that they could become true winners, something that Jordaens was particularly interested in.
It was also common for artists to be related to each other. In fact, as a young man Jacob Jordaens went to work in the workshop of Adam van Noort, with whomhe had also learned Rubens. And over time, Jordaens ended up marrying his teacher's daughter, Catalina, who is his wife sitting next to their daughter.
Jordaensis an excellent chronicler who presents us in his paintings the society ofFlandersduring the 17th century, with works such as his homage to the gluttony of his countrymen in The King Drinks. However, the whole of his work, although important within the Flemish Golden Age, is somehow on a lower rung than that of his contemporaries Rubensor Van Dyck, for lacking the powerful classicism of the former and the refinement of the latter. Although, the three of them worked together on occasion such as in the Convent of the Augustinians in Antwerp.
On the other hand, it is interesting to see his strong realistic content in some works, in which he greatly ex alts popular life, always in very vitalistic environments. Something that also shows us here, where everything is inundated by a very bourgeois spirit and a taste for opulence.
And in terms of pictorial issues, we can define the work as typical of the full Baroque with key elements such as the rich color, the abundance of details and contrasts, and the delicacy when it comes to portraying the family's wardrobe, the furniture or the vases with flowers.