FRANCKEN, Frans II
(b. 1581, Antwerpen, d. 1642, Antwerpen)

Ballroom Scene at a Court in Brussels

c. 1610
Oil on panel, 69 x 113 cm
Mauritshuis, The Hague

Frans Francken II and his brother Hieronymus Francken II painted several courtly company scenes in the first decade of the seventeenth century. In such compositions the elegant companies are made up of richly costumed, but rather doll-like stereotypical figures who converse with elegant Mannerist gestures. The artificiality of the representation is often accentuated by a fanciful architectural setting, finished with feeling both for the effect of perspective and for elegant details that gives it an unmistakable link with Paul Vredeman de Vries. In some cases the setting was in fact painted by Paul Vredeman de Vries himself.

The best-known work which Frans Francken did in this field is the Ballroom scene at a Court in Brussels (at the court of Albert and Isabella) which is a collaborative work with Paul Vredeman de Vries.