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de jonckheere old masters

Pieter Balten

The grand Kermesse of Saint George

Panel: 87,5 x 132 cm

introduction

Here, Pieter Balten offers us a village fair brimming with delightful details and all the characteristics particular to his highly animated paintings.

Dividing his composition into various groups of activity, in a way that certainly appears modern though is not, in fact, unusual in the paintings of the time, Balten, keen to portray a village fair in a dynamic manner, depicts peasants chatting in the foreground, and others playing at dice or amusing the children, while in the background, we perceive several figures forming a ring around a may tree.
The dominant red of the clothes, typical in Balten’s works, adds to the rhythm of the whole, reinforcing the effect of joyous excitement that emanates from the paintings of this master.

A theme very dear to our artist, the village fair is an opportunity for him to depict not only a moment of peasant life, but also a mixture of feelings such as joy and happiness. Animated by a multitude of small scenes, all as amusing and surprising as each other, our panel is a true homage to the pleasures of life.

Full of charm and poetry, this scene from the past will appeal to the viewer not only for its documentary and anecdotal interest, but also for its essential pictorial values.

Provenance :
François Empain collection;
Thence by descent, de Saint-Marcq collection.