Our painting holds a very rare figure in an 18th century European painting set in a local town, in this case in Antwerp: a Chinese domestic servant who is escorting his Master’s wife.
Jan Joseph Horemans the Younger was a very productive, versatile 18th century Antwerp painter who inscribed himself, with a lot of respect for his 17th century Flemish predecessors, in a tradition of genre scenes and exterior scenes and family portraits. His compositions are happy, colourful and optimistic.
Our painting was sold for over 18.000 € at Christie’s New York already in 1997, when it was erroneously given to our painter’s father. The father used dark settings (hence his nickname “Le Sombre” or “le brun”) and his figures are stiffer. His gloomy compositions sell with great difficulty. Our painter, the son, had a much more refined colour scheme, using lighter, brighter colours (therefore his nick-name was “Le Clair”). His paintings are still very popular.
About Jan Joseph Horemans II
Antwerp 1714 – 1792 Antwerp
Son and pupil of his father Jan Jozef I (1682 – 1759). Both painters were widely admired for their bourgeois interior and exterior scenes that admirably catch the spirit of their age.
Both painters’ second first name is sometimes spelt Josef.
Jan Jozef the Younger was Dean of the Painters’ Guild of Saint Luke in Antwerp in 1768-69 and in 1775-76. As the son of a painter who was already a member of the Guild he seems not to have been in a hury to become himself a Master in the Guild; he only officially joined in 1767, seven years actually after his father passed away.
Our painter was also member of the newly created (1788) artistic circle called “De Konstmaetschappij”, where artists would gather every week to know more about the members’ artistic production.
He was strongly influenced by his father:
- both painted small, anecdotic paintings, representing pleasantly
animated bourgeois interiors strongly inspired by traditional 17th century Flemish (David Teniers II and Hieronymus Janssens) and Dutch genre painting (Gabriel Metsu and Pieter de Hooch) and by the contemporary English so-called “conversation pieces” of William Hogarth;
- both used the same signature.