About Jan Spanjaert
Amsterdam 1589/90 – after 1655
Also known as ‘the monogrammist IS’.
Painter of genre scenes, especially of barn interiors with prominent still lifes of barrels, buckets, cauldrons and vegetables (such as our pair of paintings).
He also painted a few similar still lifes without any peasants and also a few religious scenes.
Spanjaert is documented in two towns:
- in Delft between 1632 until 1644;
- in Amsterdam from 1644 until his death.
In 1632 our painter joined the local painter’s guild in Delft and got married here that same year (this was his second marriage).
It should be noted that there is actually no fully signed painting known by our painter. Many of his paintings are monogrammed ‘IS (with the I passing through the S), as is our pair of paintings. The attribution to Jan Spanjaert was first suggested by Abraham Bredius (1855 – 1946) just after the First World War and has since then been generally accepted.
Dated works are known between 1636 and 1639.
According to Fred Meijer and Adriaan van der Willigen it is possible that Spanjaert may at a certain point have given up painting; in March 1665 a cloth-dyer signed a document in Amsterdam with the same ‘IS’ monogram (with the I passing through the S) as our painter.
Fred Meijer and Adriaan van der Willigen think that Spanjaert might have been taught in the vicinity of Cornelis Saftleven (1607 – 1681).
Why should you by this pair of paintings?
Because these rather naïve, but charming farm interiors have a modern feeling through the geometric pattern of this accumulation of copper vessels, butter churns, terracotta pots and vegetables.
Because the portrayed couples of farmers are actually doing rather strange things: in one painting the farmer’s wife threats to chop of her husband’s head, or at least a part of his hat, in the other painting the farmer seems to be doing something strange with a chicken (he is pullling out an egg).
Because it is nice to have these scenes in a tastefully framed pair.