Goubau stayed in Rome between 1644 and 1650. At his return in Antwerp he continued painting Italianate genre scenes: large crowded market scenes, resting hunters or people sitting outside a tavern.
Our painting, dated 1653 (so painted three years after his return from Rome), stands close to an important composition said to have been painted during his Roman years, from the Palazzo Corsini.
About Anton Goubau
Antwerp 1615 – 1698 Antwerp
Painter of Italianate genre scenes.
Pupil in Antwerp since the year 1629/30 of the further unknown Johannes de Farcas (Jan de Farius). He became a Master of the Painter’s Guild of Saint Luke in Antwerp in the year 1636/37.
Between 1644 and 1650 Goubau lived and worked in Rome: “Antonio Gobo” lived in the Via Margutta. Many Dutch and Flemish painters lived, studied and worked in Rome. Known as the Bamboccianti, they specialised in animated genre scenes. Many of these Northern painters were members of the informal society of the ‘Bentveughels’ (‘group of birds’), also known as the ‘Schildersbent’ (‘group of painters’). Although created as a support for compatriots it soon became well known for its rather convivial meetings, in so far that in 1720 this joyful society was forbidden by papal decree for too many feasts had ended in the greatest disorder. Our painter seems not to have been a member of this group.
Goubau returned in 1650 to his native Antwerp, where he would remain until his death in 1698. In 1655 he joined the Jesuite order.
Goubau had several pupils. Best known was the French painter Nicolas de Largillière, who studied under him in 1668. The Flemish painter of military still lifes, Jan Baptist Tijssens II, was also a pupil of Goubau.
About our painting
Goubau specialized in Italianate scenes, mixing real and imaginary elements. During his stay in Rome he had been strongly influenced by the genre scenes with small figures of his compatriot Jan Miel, of the Dutch painter Pieter van Laer and of the German-Dutch painter Johannes Lingelbach, and by the landscapes of the Dutch painter Jan Asselijn. After his return to Antwerp Goubau concentrated on the depiction of crowded market scenes, resting huntsmen and people sitting outside a tavern. He occasionally painted religious scenes.
Our painting dates from 1653. It stands close to an important unsigned and undated painting by Goubau, which is said to date from his Roman years: “the resting hunters” from the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica at the Palazzo Corsini in Rome.
About the "Bentveughels"
For many centuries Rome and Italy have attracted numerous painters who come to study its contemporary and ancient Roman art, to enjoy its marvelous light and colourful population, or who just came to work there.
The first generation of Bentveughels, members of the Northern painter’s association in Rome, was there during the 1620’s and 1630’s. Its most famous members were Cornelis van Poelenburgh and Bartholomeus Breenbergh (who specialised in mythological Arcadian landscapes), and Pieter van Laer. Van Laer was nicknamed “Bamboccio”, hence Bamboccianti as a description for Italianate Northern genre scene painters.
The second generation stayed in Rome during the 1640s. Best known are Jan Both, Jan Asselijn, Claes Berchem, Jan Baptist Weenix, Adam Pynacker, Karel Dujardin and Johannes Lingelbach. They chose for pastoral everyday scenes set amidst contemporary Italian buildings, as did our painter who was not a member of their boisterous association.
The third generation was active in Rome during the third quarter of the 17th century. To this group belonged Johannes Glauber, Jan-Frans van Bloemen en Hendrick van Lint.
In the artistic production of the first generation there is practically no difference between paintings executed in Rome or those painted after their return in the Low Countries. Within the paintings of the second generation this difference is very apparent. The third generation did not return from Italy; they stayed active their complete career in Rome.
Why should you buy this painting?
Because it is a fully signed and dated excellent example of early Italianate painting from the Low Countries: a synthesis of life in Rome and its countryside, then the most exotic destination, painted for those who had already travelled there and for those who had not.