"A Village Kermesse With Maypole, Attributed To Mathys Schoevaerdts (1665-1702)"Our painting illustrating life in Flanders in the 17th century, invites us to participate in the village Maypole feast, a celebration traditionally held in May for the return of the canopy. This village kermesse is integrated into an imaginary landscape where the coastline in shades of greens and blues contrasts with the ochres of the earth and the shimmering colors of the villagers' clothes.
This union of genres, typical of the period, is an opportunity for the painter to display his multiple talents, the profusion of details for the characters and the knowledge of fades and gradients for this seaside and distant landscape opening onto the world.
Commercial activity at the port continues despite the festivities. The fishermen's boats come in and go out, a group of oriental merchants recognizable by their turbans chat with local merchants, the others are strewn in the landscape wandering about their activities.
On the left, the riders arrive in front of the inn, where the villagers gather, chat in the general atmosphere of joviality. Two musicians play the violin and the flute, while the group of dancers turn around the maypole, decorated for the occasion with two leafy crowns with multicolored ribbons.
The landscape with indigo blue and turquoise green notes serves as a background for this festive and commercial swarming, encompassing the multitude of people. The bluish gray mountainous hills fade in the sky, while the blue green sea in the foreground dissipates in order to join the line of the horizon in the foggy distance, illuminated by the rays of the sun.
Boats and fishermen in the water are painstakingly painted, very fine and subtle brush strokes, showing mastery and attention to detail of the artist. Even the most distant figures with a more graphic design are highlighted in white.
Alarge tree with a deformed trunk occupies the right side, the foliage painstakingly painted in shades ranging from an autumnal green with warm nuances under the effect of light to bottle green in the shade. The light coming from the left, illuminates the scene and creates areas of shadows favoring the contrasts and the intensity of the colors. The yellow blue sky seems to give off heat and balance the cold palette of green blues of the sea.
Our work seduces with its rich and skillfully used palette of colours and the presence of the many characters who animate this imaginary port.
Attributed to Mathys Shoevaerdts, 17th century.
Oil on oak panel, Dimensions: h. 28.5 cm, l. 40 cm
A Flemish style ebonized and moulded frame.
Dimensions with frame: h. 56 cm, l. 67.5 cm
Mathys Schoevaerdts was a Flemish painter whose panoramic and luminous landscapes are in the tradition of Jan Brueghel the Elder. He was born around 1665, probably in Brussels, where his brother Frans, also a painter, was still active around 1704. In 1682, Mathys Schoevaerdts was a pupil of the landscaper Adriaen Frans Boudewyns (1644-1711) and in 1690 he became master of the guild of Saint-Luc. From 1692 to 1696 he was dean of this guild. Schoevaerdts was a specialist in landscapes where events take place, delicately painted scenes where peasants travel, sail or attend fairs. Its groups are individualized, observed with finesse. Sometimes there is a note of fantasy: in certain village scenes merchants appear in exotic Turkish costumes. He painted with a clear and luminous palette and many of his landscapes present compositions open on twilight skies or the distant blue silhouettes of the mountains. He was also a regular follower of Jan Brueghel de Velours, alongside Pieter Gijsels and Théobald Michau. The last works of Schoevaerdts, representing Italian ports and ruins, are influenced by the Dutch and Flemish artists who worked in Rome.