(b. 1593, Antwerpen, d. 1678, Antwerpen)

Education of Jupiter

Oil on panel, 61 x 75 cm
Rockox House, Antwerp

The court painters Rubens and Van Dyck regarded art as an elevated intellectual activity and were firmly convinced that the creation of art was on a far loftier plane than any other manual work. Jordaens was rooted in a section of society bounded by more modest horizons. He devoted his life to furthering his personal prosperity, and considered that his material wealth and skill as an artist earned him the right to enjoy the status of a respected citizen. This somewhat bourgeois element is also reflected in his oeuvre, even in the mythological works such as The Education of Jupiter, in which the inhabitants of Olympus appear to be taken straight from everyday life, in spite of their nakedness.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 38 minutes):
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Symphony in C Major (Jupiter-Symphony) K 551