Jordaens’ vast output ranged from religious, mythological and historical subjects often executed in a large format, but also portraits, genre scenes and tapestry designs. Jordaens’ exuberant idiom celebrates carnal abundance and joie de vivre, with a hallmark cast of voluptuous female forms, ruddy-faced, brawny eaters and drinkers. Unlike most of his contemporaries, Jordaens never visited Italy, but absorbed the dramatic realism of Caravaggio and chromatic splendor of the Venetian Renaissance through Rubens, with whom he developed a close working relationship and tangibly refers to in a work like the Allegory of Fruitfulness (1620-29; The Wallace Collection, London). The extent of confusion of their work has only been addressed in recent scholarship. Generally speaking, Jordaens’ oils show more dramatic chiaroscuro and thicker impasto than the older master.
Books on Jacob Jordaens
Joost Vander Auwera and Irene Schaudies, eds., Jordaens and the Antique, exh. cat., Brussels and New Haven, 2012.
Zita Ágota Pataki, Birgit Ulrike Münch, eds., Jordaens: Genius of Grand Scale, New York, 2012.
A. d’Hulst, Jacob Jordaens, trans. P.S. Falla, Ithaca, 1982.
Michael Jaffé, Jacob Jordaens 1593–1678, exh. cat. Ottawa, 1968.
Cornelis de Bie, Het Gulden Cabinet vande Edel Vry Schilder-Const, 1662, reprint, Antwerp, 1971.