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de jonckheere old masters

Adriaen van Stalbemt

Pair of seasons: Summer and Winter

Panel: 15 x 21,5 cm

introduction

Adriaen van Stalbemt is an excellent representative of the landscape painters active in Antwerp in the first half of the 17th century, and this delightful pair of panels is certainly proof of this. Interpreting the models of Jan Breughel the Elder in a relatively free manner, he often adds picturesque details to the realism of the scene he is reproducing. Such a plethora of details can be seen in these paintings of Summer and Winter.

In the first painting, we are shown the life of country folk on a beautiful summer’s day. A number of seasonal workers are busy with the harvest while others take a rest and stretch out in a wheat field. The golden colours that dominate this landscape mingle fully with the cold, light blue tones of the sky; they create a wonderful harmony in the composition. The range of colours is largely influenced by the Frankenthal school, as is the case in the works of Gillis van Coninxloo and Jan Breughel the Younger.

The second one shows a snowy landscape, a traditional subject in the paintings of the northern schools. There are many painters who drew inspiration from the era’s climate and painted winter scenes, thus creating a true repertoire of the genre. In our composition, skating and the game of ‘kolf’ are clearly among the activities taking place on the frozen rivers and canals. Filled with small figures and couples taking part in winter sports, this panel expresses the art of Stalbemt through a composition that is reminiscent of those by Pieter Breughel the Elder. An infinity of nuances adds depth to this peaceful winter landscape, with the full splendour of this painting rendered through the balance of tones, embellished by the luminosity of the cold day.

Provenance :
Private collection