JANSSENS, Hieronymus
(b. 1624, Antwerpen, d. 1693, Antwerpen)


Hieronymus (Jeroom) Janssens, Flemish painter. In 1636-37 he was a pupil of Christoffel van der Lamen (1606-52), and by 1643-44 he was a master. He married Catharina van Dooren in 1650 and took on four pupils in the year 1651-52. Like van der Lamen, he specialized in dance scenes, set either inside a palace or outside on a terrace (e.g. the Game of Hot-cockles, 1656; Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels), and was thus nicknamed 'the dancer' (den Danser).

Janssens's paintings are often both signed and dated, with dates ranging from 1646 to 1661. Architecture plays an important role in his paintings and is based on existing buildings, such as Rubens's Italianate house in Antwerp. Janssens also used the prints of Hans Vredeman de Vries, as a source for perspectival effects. Playing with elements such as columns, pilasters and windows, he created imaginary, monumental constructions. In some cases the result was rather unconvincing: his complicated floor patterns, for instance, can look somewhat clumsy. The architectural features in Janssens's work add to the dramatic effect, which is further intensified by his use of chiaroscuro, giving the paintings a theatrical character.

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