This week’s work of art is by a Dutch Artist, Jacob Jardeans, who was better known in his own time than he is today. Unlike his contemporaries, Rubens and Van Dyck, Jardaens never left Antwerp or found the success that they did. But in his hometown, he was one of the most popular artists. He painted a lot of allegories and mythological pictures, such as The Satyr and the Peasants, seen below, which was created around 1640.
The portrait includes a peasant and his family, along with a satyr and a servant is bring beer. The satyr’s face is odd, almost seems to mocking his hosts. But it’s the peasant’s face, bursting with food, that has the really strange expression. He looks like he was caught mid-bite in a snapshot.
Curiously, Jardaens also painted a very similar scene, the main difference being the canvas is a bit wider to accommodate more area, and two more children, though the satyr has been replaced by another man (another peasant?) who’s draining his own mug of beer. The second painting is known as “Eating Man” but I don’t know if it was painted before or after the other one.
You can read Jardaens biography at Wikipedia or at the Jacob Jardaens official website. And you can see more of his work at Olga’s Gallery, at the official website gallery and the Web Gallery. And there are links to even more paintings at ArtCyclopedia.