de jonckheere old masters

Jan Wildens

1586 – Antwerp – 1653

Born in Antwerp, Jan Wildens completed his apprenticeship with Peter van Hulst and was made a master in the Antwerp guild in 1604. After some travels, which took him to Italy in particular, he settled permanently in the city of his birth in 1618. The marriage between Rubens and Helene Fourment in 1630 made Wildens a member of the great Antwerp master’s family. It is for reasoned that his name is closely linked with the sale of the latter’s art collection.

More than any other painter, he was able to assimilate Rubens’ landscape style : he copied the Master’s compositions over and over, as he had by the joined his workshop, sometimes having him paint the landscape background of his works, particularly the prestigious paintings of the gallery of Maria de Medici, currently in the Louvre. His sense of decorative forms, the breadth of his brushwork and the range of his palette associate Jan Wildens with Rubens. However, he also worked with more discrete harmonies and had a penchant for softer tones. Next the dynamic and tempestuous personality of Rubens, his body of work expresses a peaceful and mild character. His landscapes, in which horizontal lines dominate, and which invite the viewer’s gaze to wander freely, are as soothing to the eye as to the spirit.