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

The Ball

Oil on canvas, 107 x 160 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

The Ball depicts a dancing scene, which was one of Janssens's specialities and earned him the nickname 'The Dancer'. At the centre of the composition is a fashionable pair, the gentleman wearing a jaunty red sash across his chest and the lady in a rustling black silk dress. The crowds around them have parted to admire their graceful performance and the plain floor of the interior is intended to enhance the articulation of their movements. The expansive room, with its high ceilings, large windows and the addition of a classical sculpture on the left, gives the interior a monumental feel.

Many of the artist's paintings are set either on terraces or in grand interiors. The architectural surroundings, which play an important part in his compositions, were often based on existing buildings, such as Rubens's Italianate house in Antwerp. Additionally, Janssens used the prints of Hans Vredeman de Vries as a source for perspective effects.

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