(active 1640s in Antwerp)

Exterior view

House of Jacob Jordaens, Antwerp

The main characteristic of non-religious architecture in the seventeenth-century Southern Netherlands is its conservative nature, in sharp contrast with the new monumentality in ecclesiastical building. Until about the middle of the seventeenth century the most striking examples of civic architecture were mainly to be seen in Antwerp. Stylistic differentiation is almost entirely restricted to decorative ornament, the presence or absence of which was directly related to the financial resources of the owner.

Mannerist ornamentation gained its great opportunity in Antwerp in the years after the 'Spanish Fury' of 1576 which had destroyed much of the centre of the town. Examples of the rebuilding can still be seen round the Grote Markt.

Among the rare examples of Italianate domestic architecture in Antwerp are a few large houses built for painters. Obviously the standard was set here by Rubens. Rich sculptural articulation and typical rusticated decoration is encountered in Jordaens's house. The gable superstructure supported by volutes is an application of the typical Netherlandish pointed gable with its vertical axis.

The photo shows the courtyard façade of the house.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.