Category: golden age

Pieter Thijs – Time and the Three Fates – ca. 1665

In ancient Greek religion and mythology, the Moirai (Ancient Greek: Μοῖραι, “lots, destinies, apportioners”), often known in English as the Fates (Latin: Fata), Moirae or Mœræ (obsolete), were the white-robed incarnations of destiny; their Roman equivalent was the Parcae (euphemistically the “sparing ones”), and there are other equivalents in cultures that descend from the Proto-Indo-European culture. Their number became fixed at three: Clotho (“spinner”), Lachesis (“allotter”) and Atropos (“the unturnable”, a metaphor for death).

They controlled the mother thread of life of every mortal from birth to death. They were independent, at the helm of necessity, directed fate, and watched that the fate assigned to every being by eternal laws might take its course without obstruction. Both gods and men had to submit to them, although Zeus’s relationship with them is a matter of debate: some sources say he can command them (as Zeus Moiragetes “leader of the Fates”), while others suggest he was also bound to the Moirai’s dictates.

In the Homeric poems Moira or Aisa are related to the limit and end of life, and Zeus appears as the guider of destiny. In the Theogony of Hesiod, the three Moirai are personified, daughters of Nyx and are acting over the gods. Later they are daughters of Zeus and Themis, who was the embodiment of divine order and law. In Plato’s Republic the Three Fates are daughters of Ananke (necessity).

It seems that Moira is related with Tekmor (“proof, ordinance”) and with Ananke (“destiny, necessity”), who were primeval goddesses in mythical cosmogonies. The ancient Greek writers might call this power Moira or Ananke, and even the gods could not alter what was ordained:

To the Moirai (Moirae, Fates) the might of Zeus must bow; and by the Immortals’ purpose all these things had come to pass, or by the Moirai’s ordinance.

The concept of a universal principle of natural order and balance has been compared to similar concepts in other cultures like the Vedic Ṛta, the Avestan Asha (Arta) and the Egyptian Maat.

In earliest Greek philosophy, the cosmogony of Anaximander is based on these mythical beliefs. The goddess Dike (“justice, divine retribution”), keeps the order and sets a limit to any actions.

Pieter Thijs, Peter Thijs or Pieter Thys (Antwerp, 1624 – Antwerp, 1677) was a Flemish painter of portraits as well as religious and history paintings. He was a very successful artist who worked for the courts in Brussels and The Hague as well as for many religious institutions. His work was close to the courtly and elegant style of Anthony van Dyck and his followers.

Pieter Thijs produced allegorical and mythological compositions for the courts of the Southern Netherlands and the Dutch Republic as well as the local churches and monasteries. He was also in demand as a portrait painter by the court and the local bourgeoisie.

In the past his reputation suffered because of misattributions of his work. As his style was close to that of van Dyck and the followers of van Dyck, Thijs works have often been attributed to van Dyck and artists working in the van Dyckian idiom such as Thomas Willeboirts Bosschaert, Jan Boeckhorst and Erasmus Quellinus the Younger. With the rediscovery of the artist, works have been re-attributed to Pieter Thijs. As the styles of Thomas Willeboirts Bosschaert and Thijs are very close, there are still disagreements about the attributions of some works to either artist. The main distinguishing features between the styles of the two artists is that Willeboirts Bosschaerts’ work uses a looser brushwork and displays a distinctive humanity and sensuality in the figures, especially the female figures. Thijs, on the other hand, applied the paint more tightly and thickly, and his figures express their emotions with more decorum and contained theatricality.

The influence of van Dyck on Thijs’ style is due to his direct working relationship with van Dyck. Other possible influences are the works of slightly senior painters such as Thomas Willeboirts Bosschaert and Gonzales Coques who were both early followers of van Dyck as well as Thijs’ predecessors at the courts of Brussels and The Hague. The patrons at these courts showed a preference for van Dyck’s refined courtly style.

He showed himself to be an eclectic painter who did not strive for originality but adapted and borrowed from the styles of other artists where he felt the commission demanded it.

Pieter Thijs – Bathsheba – 

Bathsheba was the wife of Uriah the Hittite and later of David, according to the Hebrew Bible. She is most known for the biblical narrative in which she was summoned by King David, who had seen her bathing and lusted after her. She was the mother of Solomon, who succeeded David as king, making her the Queen mother.

Pieter Thijs, Peter Thijs or Pieter Thys (Antwerp, 1624 – Antwerp, 1677) was a Flemish painter of portraits as well as religious and history paintings. He was a very successful artist who worked for the courts in Brussels and The Hague as well as for many religious institutions. His work was close to the courtly and elegant style of Anthony van Dyck and his followers.

Pieter Thijs was born in a modest family as the son of a baker. Thijs had three masters. He trained with Artus Deurwerdeers as a cabinet painter, in the style practiced in the workshop of Frans Francken the Younger, the father-in-law of Deurwerdeers. It is only after moving to the workshop of Anthony van Dyck that Thijs learned portrait and history painting and started copying the great masters. He is considered to be van Dyck’s last pupil.

Everything suggests he completed his training with Gonzales Coques, a leading painter of portraits and history paintings who was known by the nickname ‘de kleine van Dyck’ (‘the little van Dyck’). Thijs continued working in Coques’ workshop for more than three years after becoming a master of the Antwerp Guild of St. Luke in 1644–45. Thanks to the presence of the collection of George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, in Antwerp, Thijs was able to study the paintings of the Cinquecento.

After leaving Coques’ workshop Thijs started out on a career that was successful despite the prevailing dire economic situation in Antwerp. He maintained a busy workshop that employed about twenty apprentices in the course of his career. In the 1660s he had enough work to keep six assistants busy. He obtained many commissions for altarpieces in churches in Flanders and Brabant as well as for portraits, and allegorical and mythological paintings from patrons in both the Southern Netherlands and the Dutch Republic. Through the international business connections of his father-in-law who ran a large import-export business in Antwerp with offices in the major ports and cities of Europe, he was able to sell his paintings to an international clientele and get commissions for altarpieces in Vienna and Croatia as well as for the Cologne Cathedral.

Thijs enjoyed royal patronage. From 1647 onwards, he became a portrait painter as well as a tapestry designer for Archduke Leopold Wilhelm of Austria, then the Governor of the Southern Netherlands, while at the same time taking on commissions from the rival House of Orange in The Hague. He collaborated on the decorations in Huis Honselaarsdijk, the palace of Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange near The Hague (now lost).

Thijs married Constantia van der Beken on 19 March 1648. The couple had six daughters and four sons. His son Pieter Pauwel Thijs (1652-1679) followed in his footsteps as an artist but died young. After the death of his first wife he married Anna Bruydegom on 2 July 1670.

Thijs played a major role in Antwerp’s cultural life. He served as deacon and treasurer of the Antwerp Guild of Saint Luke and was the driving force behind the further development of the Chamber of rhetoric Violieren of the Guild. He was able to persuade the local playwright Willem Ogier to compose several works for the theater.

Thijs trained his son Pieter Pauwel and was the teacher of Jan Fransicus Lauwereyssens.

Pieter Thijs – Aglaurus and Herse – 1661

Aglaurus (Ancient Greek: Ἄγλαυρος) or Agraulus Ancient Greek: Ἄγραυλος) was in Greek mythology, an Athenian princess.

According to the Bibliotheca, Hephaestus attempted to rape Athena but was unsuccessful. His semen fell on the ground, impregnating Gaia. Gaia did not want the infant Erichthonius, so she gave the baby to the goddess Athena. Athena gave the baby in a box to three women—Aglaurus and her two sisters Herse and Pandrosus—and warned them to never open it. Aglaurus and Herse opened the box. The sight of the infant caused them both to go insane and they threw themselves off the Acropolis, or, according to Hyginus, into the sea.

An alternative version of the same story is that, while Athena was gone bringing a limestone mountain from the Pallene peninsula to use in the Acropolis, the sisters, minus Pandrosus again, opened the box. A crow witnessed the opening and flew away to tell Athena, who fell into a rage and dropped the mountain (now Mt. Lykabettos). Once again, Herse and Aglaurus went insane and threw themselves to their deaths from a cliff.

Another legend represents Agraulos in a totally different light. Athens was at one time involved in a long and protracted war, and an oracle declared that it would cease if someone would sacrifice himself for the good of his country. Agraulos came forward and threw herself off the Acropolis. The Athenians, in gratitude for this, built her a temple on the Acropolis, in which it subsequently became customary for the young Athenians, on receiving their first suit of armor, to take an oath that they would always defend their country to the last.

According to Ovid, Mercury loved Herse but her jealous sister, whom he calls Aglaurus, stood between them, barring Mercury’s entry into the house and refusing to move. Mercury was outraged at her presumption and turned her to stone.

Pieter Thijs, Peter Thijs or Pieter Thys (Antwerp, 1624 – Antwerp, 1677) was a Flemish painter of portraits as well as religious and history paintings. He was a very successful artist who worked for the courts in Brussels and The Hague as well as for many religious institutions. His work was close to the courtly and elegant style of Anthony van Dyck and his followers.

Pieter Thijs – The Crucifixion of Saint Peter – ca. 1665

Saint Peter (Classical Syriac: ܫܸܡܥܘܿܢ ܟܹ݁ܐܦ݂ܵܐ‎, romanized: Šemʿōn Kēp̄ā; Hebrew: שמעון בר יונה‎, romanized: Šimʿōn bar Yōnāh; Arabic: سِمعَان بُطرُس‎, romanized: Simʿa̅n Buṭrus; Greek: Πέτρος, translit. Petros; Coptic: Ⲡⲉⲧⲣⲟⲥ, romanized: Petros; Latin: Petrus; r. AD 30; died between AD 64 and 68), also known as Simon Peter, Simeon, Simon (/ˈsaɪmən/ (About this soundlisten)), Cephas, or Peter the Apostle, was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ, and the first leader of the early Church.

According to Christian tradition, Peter was crucified in Rome under Emperor Nero. He is traditionally counted as the first Bishop of Rome‍—‌or pope‍—‌and also by Eastern Christian tradition as the first Patriarch of Antioch. The ancient Christian churches all venerate Peter as a major saint and as the founder of the Church of Antioch and the Roman Church, but differ in their attitudes regarding the authority of his present-day successors (the primacy of the Bishop of Rome). According to Catholic teaching, in Matthew 16:18 Jesus promised Peter a special position in the Church.

Two general epistles in the New Testament are ascribed to Peter, but modern scholars generally reject the Petrine authorship of both. The Gospel of Mark was traditionally thought to show the influence of Peter’s preaching and eyewitness memories. Several other books bearing his name‍—‌the Acts of Peter, Gospel of Peter, Preaching of Peter, Apocalypse of Peter, and Judgment of Peter‍—‌are considered by Christian denominations as apocryphal, and are thus not included in their Bible canons.

Pieter Thijs, Peter Thijs or Pieter Thys (Antwerp, 1624 – Antwerp, 1677) was a Flemish painter of portraits as well as religious and history paintings. He was a very successful artist who worked for the courts in Brussels and The Hague as well as for many religious institutions. His work was close to the courtly and elegant style of Anthony van Dyck and his followers.

Pieter Thijs – Archduke Leopold Wilhelm of Austria – 1650-6

Archduke Leopold Wilhelm of Austria (5 January 1614 – 20 November 1662), younger brother of Emperor Ferdinand III, was an Austrian soldier, administrator and patron of the arts.

He held a number of military commands, with limited success, and served as Governor of the Spanish Netherlands, before returning to Vienna in 1656. Despite being nominated as Holy Roman Emperor after Ferdinand’s death in 1657, he stood aside in favour of his nephew Leopold I.

His main interest was in art, and he patronised artists including David Teniers the Younger, Frans Snyders, Peter Snayers, Daniel Seghers, Peter Franchoys, Frans Wouters, Jan van den Hoecke and Pieter Thijs. His collection of 17th century Venetian and Dutch paintings are now held by the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.

Pieter Thijs, Peter Thijs or Pieter Thys (Antwerp, 1624 – Antwerp, 1677) was a Flemish painter of portraits as well as religious and history paintings. He was a very successful artist who worked for the courts in Brussels and The Hague as well as for many religious institutions. His work was close to the courtly and elegant style of Anthony van Dyck and his followers.

Thijs enjoyed royal patronage. From 1647 onwards, he became a portrait painter as well as a tapestry designer for Archduke Leopold Wilhelm of Austria, then the Governor of the Southern Netherlands, while at the same time taking on commissions from the rival House of Orange in The Hague. He collaborated on the decorations in Huis Honselaarsdijk, the palace of Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange near The Hague (now lost).

baroqueart:

Portrait of Philips van de Werve and His Wife by Pieter Thijs

Date: 1651

Pieter Thijs, Peter Thijs or Pieter Thys (Antwerp, 1624 – Antwerp, 1677) was a Flemish painter of portraits as well as religious and history paintings. He was a very successful artist who worked for the courts in Brussels and The Hague as well as for many religious institutions. His work was close to the courtly and elegant style of Anthony van Dyck and his followers.

A representative portrait painting by Thijs is the Portrait of Philips van de Werve and His Wife (c. 1661, Auctioned at Sotheby’s on 7 July 2005, London, lot 10). Its composition recalls van Dyck’s large family-group portraits painted in his late English period, which Thijs would have seen when he was a pupil of van Dyck. The figures in the group portrait also closely adhere to the van Dyckian type, especially the two children.

beautiful-belgium:

Pieter Thijs – Sacrifice of Isaac (between 1673 and 1736)

Pieter Thijs, Peter Thijs or Pieter Thys (Antwerp, 1624 – Antwerp, 1677) was a Flemish painter of portraits as well as religious and history paintings. He was a very successful artist who worked for the courts in Brussels and The Hague as well as for many religious institutions. His work was close to the courtly and elegant style of Anthony van Dyck and his followers.

beautiful-belgium:

Pieter Thijs – Christ on the Cross (between 1635 and 1677)

Pieter Thijs, Peter Thijs or Pieter Thys[1] (Antwerp, 1624 – Antwerp, 1677) was a Flemish painter of portraits as well as religious and history paintings. He was a very successful artist who worked for the courts in Brussels and The Hague as well as for many religious institutions. His work was close to the courtly and elegant style of Anthony van Dyck and his followers.

beautiful-belgium:

Pieter Thijs – Daedalus fixing wings onto the shoulders of Icarus (17th century)

In Greek mythology, Daedalus (Ancient Greek: Δαίδαλος Daidalos “cunningly wrought”, perhaps related to δαιδάλλω “to work artfully” or “of knowledge”; Latin: Daedalus; Etruscan: Taitale) was a skillful architect, craftsman and artist, and was seen as a symbol of wisdom, knowledge, and power. He is the father of Icarus, the uncle of Perdix, and possibly also the father of Iapyx, although this is unclear. He invented and built the Labyrinth for King Minos of Crete, but shortly after finishing it King Minos had Daedalus imprisoned within the labyrinth. He and his son Icarus devised a plan to escape by using wings made of wax that Daedalus had invented. They escaped, but sadly Icarus did not heed his father’s warnings and flew too close to the sun. The wax melted and Icarus fell to his death. This left Daedalus heartbroken, but instead of giving up he flew to the island of Sicily.

In Greek mythology, Icarus (Ancient Greek: Ἴκαρος) is the son of the master craftsman Daedalus, the creator of the Labyrinth. Icarus and his father attempt to escape from Crete by means of wings that his father constructed from feathers and wax. Icarus’ father warns him first of complacency and then of hubris, asking that he fly neither too low nor too high, so the sea’s dampness would not clog his wings nor the sun’s heat melt them. Icarus ignored his father’s instructions not to fly too close to the sun; when the wax in his wings melted he tumbled out of the sky and fell into the sea where he drowned, sparking the idiom “don’t fly too close to the sun”.

This tragic theme of failure at the hands of hubris contains similarities to that of Phaëthon.

Pieter Thijs, Peter Thijs or Pieter Thys (Antwerp, 1624 – Antwerp, 1677) was a Flemish painter of portraits as well as religious and history paintings. He was a very successful artist who worked for the courts in Brussels and The Hague as well as for many religious institutions. His work was close to the courtly and elegant style of Anthony van Dyck and his followers.

Joris van Bredael – Jan III Sobieski in Vienna – 

The Battle of Vienna (German: Schlacht am Kahlen Berge or Kahlenberg (Battle of the Bald Mountain); Polish: bitwa pod Wiedniem or odsiecz wiedeńska (The Relief of Vienna); Modern Turkish: İkinci Viyana Kuşatması, Ottoman Turkish: Beç Ḳalʿası Muḥāṣarası) took place at Kahlenberg Mountain near Vienna on 12 September 1683 after the imperial city had been besieged by the Ottoman Empire for two months. The battle was fought by the Habsburg Monarchy, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Holy Roman Empire, under the command of King John III Sobieski against the Ottomans and their vassal and tributary states. The battle marked the first time the Commonwealth and the Holy Roman Empire had cooperated militarily against the Ottomans, and it is often seen as a turning point in history, after which “the Ottoman Turks ceased to be a menace to the Christian world”. In the ensuing war that lasted until 1699, the Ottomans lost almost all of Hungary to the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I.

The battle was won by the combined forces of the Holy Roman Empire and the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, the latter represented only by the forces of the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland (the march of the Lithuanian army was delayed, and they reached Vienna after it had been relieved). The Viennese garrison was led by Ernst Rüdiger Graf von Starhemberg, an Austrian subject of Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I. The overall command was held by the senior leader, the King of Poland, John III Sobieski, who led the relief forces.

The opposing military forces were those of the Ottoman Empire and Ottoman fiefdoms, commanded by Grand Vizier Merzifonlu Kara Mustafa Pasha. The Ottoman army numbered approximately 90,000 to 200,000 men (according to documents on the order of battle found in Kara Mustafa’s tent, initial strength at the start of the campaign was 170,000 men). They began the siege on 14 July 1683. Ottoman forces consisted, among other units, of 60 ortas or Janissaries (12,000 men paper-strength) with an observation army of some 70,000 men watching the countryside. The decisive battle took place on 12 September, after the arrival of the united relief army.

Historians suggest the battle marked the turning point in the Ottoman–Habsburg wars, a 300-year struggle between the Holy Roman and Ottoman Empires. During the 16 years following the battle, the Austrian Habsburgs gradually recovered and dominated southern Hungary and Transylvania, which had been largely cleared of Ottoman forces. The battle is noted for including the largest known cavalry charge in history.

Joris van Bredael (1 January 1661 – c. 1706) was a Flemish painter known for his battle scenes and cityscapes representing some popular celebration or feast. He was a member of the prominent artistic family van Bredael.

He was born in Antwerp into an artist family as the second son of Peeter van Bredael, a well-known painter specializing in market scenes and village feasts set in Italianate landscapes. His mother was An Veldener, the daughter of the sculptor Jennyn Veldener. Two of his brothers, Jan Peeter the Elder and Alexander van Bredael became painters. Joris likely trained under his father. He became a member of the Antwerp Guild of Saint Luke in 1684.

He married Johanna Maria van Diepenbeeck, the daughter of the prominent Baroque painter Abraham van Diepenbeeck, on 25 July 1681. Their two children Jozef and Jan Pieter both became painters. Joris’ first wife died c. 1689-90. He married a second time to Anne van der Dort.

He worked in Antwerp for the art dealers such as Forchondt. In 1690 Forchondt sent to the representatives of the family business in Vienna six battle scenes by Joris van Bredael including a Relief of Vienna, a Capture of Buda, a Capture of Belgrade and a Capture of Gran.

On the basis of a painting of a winter view of Vienna, which is attributed to him, it is sometimes assumed he spent time in Vienna.

He was the teacher of Joannes Ludovicus Daudenfort and of his two sons.

Very few paintings of Joris Bredael have been preserved. He is mainly known for his battle scenes and city views typically representing some popular celebration or feast. An example of a city view is A sledge carousel in the courtyard of the Hofburg, Vienna, in the reign of Leopold I (Sold by Christie’s on 24 April 1998 in London, lot 73). It represents a sledge-ride at night in the squares and streets of Vienna, a favourite pastime of the Viennese during the winter months.

A battle piece attributed to him is the Battle between Christian and Osman Soldiers (Sold by Lempertz on 28 September 2011 in Cologne, lot 8). His family members, including his sons, often made similar battle pieces, which seem to have responded to a demand by the European nobility for depictions of their victories over the Turks.[