(b. 1530, Antwerpen, d. 1574, Antwerpen)

The Vegetable Market

Oil on panel 149 x 215 cm
Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp

Joachim Beuckelaer took the market and kitchen painting created by Pieter Aertsen, and developed them into an independent genre which remained popular until well into the 17th century. The didactic element of Beuckelaer's paintings did not manifest itself in propaganda on behalf of Catholic orthodoxy, but in the cheerful censure of the wickedness of worldly pleasure. His paintings are full of allusions to sensuality, sexuality and fertility, with vegetables, fruit, fish, meat and cooking utensils piled up around a few figures. In his best works, Beuckelaer mixes a strong sense of space and detail on the one hand, with unity of composition on the other.