You may not find this terribly rewarding unless you're included here, so this is a good time for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught up in the sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.
Discovering Joachim Beuckelaer
We'd never heard of him: Joachim Beuckelaer of Antwerp (ca. 1533-ca. 1573), who loved the peasant and city trades and all the civic detail.
Joachim certainly found his niche, producing a great many memorable works on a similar theme -- market and kitchen scenes crammed with fruits, vegetables, animals (usually dead), and lusty common folks.
Many of which common folks seem to have been the same models
We first ran into Mr Beuckelaer in the Galleria Nazionale di Capodimonte, Naples, in 2010, with this mother lode of five of his works.
Beuckelaer appears never to have left Antwerp, but he produced an enormous number of works, including some with just still lifes of the produce, with no people, though it's surely the people who make them most interesting. In any case, he's credited with have had a great influence on the development of still life painting in both northern Europe and Italy.
Sorry for the blurriness (no flash allowed, for very good reasons), but Mr Beuckelaer has made our whole visit to the Capodimonte worthwhile. Which it was already, but even better.
This larger market scene comes from the Uffizi in Florence. It's been said by art historians that some of his backgrounds also have very interesting elements, sometimes with coded biblical overtones, a technique apparently learnt from his uncle, Pieter Aertsen.
Here's another superb masterwork by Joachim Beuckelaer -- just in the past few months, we've scored six in the Capodimonte in Naples and another one in the Uffizi in Florence. This is the Marché aux poissons, or fish market, 1568. In the Musée des Beaux-Arts in the Château Rohan in Strasbourg [viewed in 2011]
This one is in the Palazzo Bianco in Genoa.
A shocker for us. One's favorite artist, Joachim Beuckelaer of Antwerp, the master of fish and vegetable markets, could do religion, too. Way to go, Joachim. I can even recognize some of his fish and vegetable selling models. (Crucifixion, 1567, in the Louvre, viewed in 2012)
This a surprise bonus in the Galleria Nazionale in the Palazzo della Pilotta, Parma, a copy by the "Flemish School" (1589) of a picture by the wonderful Joachim Beuckelaer of Antwerp, a specialist in real-life market and kitchen scenes who was very popular in northern Italy for a time.
The 'Fruit Seller' (ca. 1580), by Vincenzo Campi, of whom I knew nothing, but for combining bourgeois farm and market scenes with cheery young women and still life vegetables and dead animals he bears comparison with an all-time favorite, Joachim Beuckelaer of Antwerp. (In the Brera, Milan)
A less joyous, and plentiful, life of the 'common folk'. By "Louis (ou Antoine") Nain, in the Louvre.
The forge (Le Nain (Louis, ou Antoine), early XVIIth c.), also in the Louvre.