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 50 Years/50 Artworks      

11.
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Jan Joseph Horemans I or
Jans Joseph Horemans II
(Flemish, 1682–1759 or 1714–after 1790)
A Musical Party
Oil on canvas, 18 3/4" x 22 1/8"
D64.x2
Gift of Alice Tweed Tuohy

Whether by the hand of Jan Horemans the Elder or that of his son, A Musical Party is clearly patterned after earlier Dutch genre paintings of the 1600s, in which figures are shown in box-like interiors, engaged in the activities of middle class life. In such paintings, special attention is paid to the interior architecture, its furnishings, and the detailed surfaces of ornate objects. Though dimly lit, this painting and the earlier works it is modeled after use subtle touches of light to soften their otherwise rigid and static compositions.
A common feature of Dutch genre paintings of this period was the inclusion of family portraits. A Musical Party features two such portraits flanking the mantlepiece. The portraits and the formal gathering serve as a reference to family tradition, and furthermore, to the art of the past. In Dutch art, references to music often served as a reminder of the fragile and fleeting nature of earthly life, in much the same way as did still life objects like fruit, game animals, and fine possessions.

 
 
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