Hieronymus Janssens was nicknamed “le danseur”, “the dancer”, because he loved painting elegantly dressed people dancing.
In our pair of paintings he has for once included a stoical lesson, a warning against the pursuit of pleasure: there is a price to pay for self-indulgence .
About Hieronymus Janssens
Antwerp 1624 – 1693 Antwerp
Pupil from 1636/37 onwards of Christoffel Jacobsz. van der Laemen (Brussels 1606/1615 – 1651 Antwerp), whom he surpassed.
He became Master in the Antwerp Guild of Saint Luke in the year 1643/44.
Painter of elegant, joyful genre scenes, of rich and noble families, set in open air or in interiors. People are playing fashionable games, such as “la main chaude”, listening to music or having breakfast.
But foremost Janssens specialized in dance scenes and was thus named “the dancer”, “le danseur”.
Representations of balls and banquets are subjects which were also treated by other Flemish painters such as Hieronymus Francken I and II, Frans Francken II, Louis de Caullery and Gonzales Coques, and by the French engraver Abraham Bosse.
Janssens figures are always elegant, refined, immaculately dressed and behaving properly.
Like his master, van der Lamen, he also treated the subject of the Prodigal Son.
Architecture and perspective play an important role in Janssens’ pain-tings. The setting is usually the terrace with portico or the ballroom of a palace or important home.
Janssens regularly painted staffage figures for painters specialized in architectural compositions such as :
- Willem van Ehrenberg
- Pieter Neeffs I
- Jacob Ferdinand Saeys
- Anton Günther Gheringh
- Barthold van Bassen
Janssens’ influence lasted well into the 18th century, for example on both the Horemans, father and son: Jan Jozef I and II (1682 – 1759 and 1714 – after 1790).
About our pair of painting
This is a very interesting pair of paintings within the artistic production of Hieronymus Janssens, because it combines a group of flirting and dancing people, a subject quintessential of Janssens, with a rare, if not completely unique subject for him: a Jewish banker. Both subjects are of course opposite to each other: superficial pleasures and the subsequent financial troubles.
Why should you buy this pair of paintings?
Because these beautiful scenes hold a profound philosophical warning against the consequences and expenses of excessive hedonism.