As The Old Sang, So The Young Pipe - Jacob Jordaens - 1640
Jacob Jordeans (1593-1678) never made the traditional trip to Italy to study classical and Renaissance art, but he did make many efforts to study prints or works of Italian masters available in northern Europe. He is known to have studied Titian, Veronese, Caravaggio, and Bassano, either through prints, copies or originals. His work, however, betrays local traditions, especially the genre traditions of Pieter Bruegel the Elder, in honestly depicting Flemish life.
His commissions frequently came from wealthy local Flemish patrons and clergy, although later in his career, he worked for courts and governments across Europe. Besides a large output of monumental oil paintings he was a prolific tapestry designer,
Jordaens was greatly influenced by Peter Paul Rubens, who employed him to reproduce small sketches in a larger format. After Rubens' death, in 1640, Jordeans became Antwerp's new leading artist. Only after achieving this status did he receive royal commissions, predominantly from the north.
Like Rubens, Jordaens relied on a warm palette, naturalism, and a mastery of chiaroscuro and tenebrism. While he drew upon Rubens’ motifs throughout his career, his work is differentiated by a tendency to greater realism, a crowding of the surface of his compositions, and a preference for the burlesque, even within the context of religious and mythological subjects. Jordaens also painted biblical, mythological, and allegorical subjects and even etched a number of plates.
The Protestant religion was forbidden in Antwerp, which at the time was still Spanish-occupied territory. Towards the end of his lifetime Jordaens converted to Protestantism, but continued to accept commissions to decorate Catholic churches.
Jordaens died in October 1678. At the end of his career, his creative and artistic ability had deteriorated. He moved from vibrant colors to a gray-blue palette, accented at times with a dull brown, and applied paint so thinly that the canvas could be seen.