Pieter Aertsen

Aertsen, PieterPeter Aertsen
Pieter Aertsen (Amsterdam, 1508 – 3 June 1575), called Lange Piet ("Tall Pete") because of his height, was a Dutch painter in the style of Northern Mannerism.wikipedia
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History painting

history painterhistoryhistorical painting
His Butcher's Shop, with the Flight into Egypt (Uppsala, 1551) "has been called the earliest example of Mannerist inversion of still life in Northern painting", showing the "lower" subject matter far more prominently than the subject from history painting. Aersten's exact formula of still life and genre figures in the foreground, with small scenes from history painting in the background only persisted for the next generation (or two, as Joachim Wtewael painted some similar works), but history paintings with very prominent and profuse still life elements in the foreground were produced by Rubens and his generation, and in the 17th century both Flemish Baroque painting and Dutch Golden Age painting developed important genres of independent still life subjects, which were just occasionally produced in Aertsen's day.

Landscape painting

landscapelandscape painterlandscapes
A similar inversion in landscape painting had been developed by Joachim Patinir in Antwerp several decades earlier when he invented the world landscape.

Joachim Patinir

Patinir, JoachimJoachim PatenierJoachim Patiner
A similar inversion in landscape painting had been developed by Joachim Patinir in Antwerp several decades earlier when he invented the world landscape.

Holy Family

Sacred FamilyThe Holy FamilyFeast of the Holy Family
In the Uppsala painting the zones behind the butcher's stall show (from left) a view through a window of a church, the Holy Family distributing alms on their journey, a worker in the mid-ground, with a merry company eating mussels and oysters (believed to promote lust) in a back room behind.

Merry company

merry companiesguardroom scenecourtly gatherings
In the Uppsala painting the zones behind the butcher's stall show (from left) a view through a window of a church, the Holy Family distributing alms on their journey, a worker in the mid-ground, with a merry company eating mussels and oysters (believed to promote lust) in a back room behind.

Mussel

musselshorse musselblue mussels
In the Uppsala painting the zones behind the butcher's stall show (from left) a view through a window of a church, the Holy Family distributing alms on their journey, a worker in the mid-ground, with a merry company eating mussels and oysters (believed to promote lust) in a back room behind.

Oyster

oystersoyster bedoyster beds
In the Uppsala painting the zones behind the butcher's stall show (from left) a view through a window of a church, the Holy Family distributing alms on their journey, a worker in the mid-ground, with a merry company eating mussels and oysters (believed to promote lust) in a back room behind.

Allegory

allegoricalallegoriesallegorically
The painting offers the viewer a range of options for life, in an allegory on physical and spiritual food.

Guild

guildscraft guildtrade guild
The painting carries the coat of arms of Antwerp, suggesting it was a civic commission, perhaps by the rich Butcher's Guild.

Pliny the Elder

PlinyPlin.Plinius
In the Renaissance, the classical example of the painter Peiraikos, known only from Pliny the Elder, was important in justifying genre and other "low" subjects in painting.

Renaissance humanism

humanistRenaissance humanisthumanists
Aertsen was compared to Peiraikos by the Dutch Renaissance humanist Hadrianus Junius (Adriaen de Jonghe, 1511–1575) in his Batavia, published posthumously in 1588, which compares Aertsen at each point of Pliny's description in a wholly laudatory manner.

Hadrianus Junius

Adriaen de JongheJuniusAdrian Le Jeune
Aertsen was compared to Peiraikos by the Dutch Renaissance humanist Hadrianus Junius (Adriaen de Jonghe, 1511–1575) in his Batavia, published posthumously in 1588, which compares Aertsen at each point of Pliny's description in a wholly laudatory manner.

Self-portrait

self portraitself-portraitsself-portraiture
An article by Zoran Kwak argues that a painting by his son Pieter Pietersz the Elder (1540–1603), normally called Market Scene with the Journey to Emmaus, which features prominently a half-naked figure who is clearly a cook (with Jesus and his companions as smaller figures behind him), in fact represents a self-portrait in a partly comic spirit, depicted as Peiraikos.

Iconoclasm

iconoclasticonoclasticiconoclasts
Later in life, he also painted more conventional treatments of religious subjects, now mostly lost as during the iconoclasm of the beeldenstorm several paintings that had been commissioned for Catholic churches were destroyed.

Altarpiece

altar-piecealtarpiecesaltar piece
Several of his best works, including altarpieces in various churches in Amsterdam, were also destroyed during the days surrounding the event known as the Alteratie, or "Changeover", when Amsterdam formally reverted to Protestantism from Catholicism on 26 May 1578 at the start of the Eighty Years' War.

Alteratie

newly ProtestantAlterationAlteration of Amsterdam
Several of his best works, including altarpieces in various churches in Amsterdam, were also destroyed during the days surrounding the event known as the Alteratie, or "Changeover", when Amsterdam formally reverted to Protestantism from Catholicism on 26 May 1578 at the start of the Eighty Years' War.

Eighty Years' War

Eighty Years WarDutch War of IndependenceWar of Independence
Several of his best works, including altarpieces in various churches in Amsterdam, were also destroyed during the days surrounding the event known as the Alteratie, or "Changeover", when Amsterdam formally reverted to Protestantism from Catholicism on 26 May 1578 at the start of the Eighty Years' War.

Crucifixion

crucifiedcrucifycross
One surviving religious work is the Crucifixion in the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp.

Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp

Royal Museum of Fine Arts, AntwerpRoyal Museum of Fine ArtsKoninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten
One surviving religious work is the Crucifixion in the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp.

Peter Paul Rubens

RubensRubenesquePieter Paul Rubens
Aersten's exact formula of still life and genre figures in the foreground, with small scenes from history painting in the background only persisted for the next generation (or two, as Joachim Wtewael painted some similar works), but history paintings with very prominent and profuse still life elements in the foreground were produced by Rubens and his generation, and in the 17th century both Flemish Baroque painting and Dutch Golden Age painting developed important genres of independent still life subjects, which were just occasionally produced in Aertsen's day.

Dutch Golden Age painting

Dutch Golden Age painterDutch MastersDutch Golden Age
Aersten's exact formula of still life and genre figures in the foreground, with small scenes from history painting in the background only persisted for the next generation (or two, as Joachim Wtewael painted some similar works), but history paintings with very prominent and profuse still life elements in the foreground were produced by Rubens and his generation, and in the 17th century both Flemish Baroque painting and Dutch Golden Age painting developed important genres of independent still life subjects, which were just occasionally produced in Aertsen's day.

Antonis Mor

Anthonis MorAntonio MoroAnthony More
In some cases they appear to have been borrowed from the contemporary court portraiture of artists such as Anthonis Mor.

Genoa

GenoeseGenovaGenoa, Italy
Two unusual individual genre portraits (probably not actual individuals) of female cooks in Genoa and Brussels, one full-length and the other in the three-quarter length format devised by Titian for royal portraits, show them holding roasting spits with poultry as if they were marshall's batons.

Brussels

Brussels, BelgiumBrussels-Capital RegionBruxelles
Two unusual individual genre portraits (probably not actual individuals) of female cooks in Genoa and Brussels, one full-length and the other in the three-quarter length format devised by Titian for royal portraits, show them holding roasting spits with poultry as if they were marshall's batons.

Titian

TizianoTiziano VecellioTizian
Two unusual individual genre portraits (probably not actual individuals) of female cooks in Genoa and Brussels, one full-length and the other in the three-quarter length format devised by Titian for royal portraits, show them holding roasting spits with poultry as if they were marshall's batons.