Meat Stall

8 Nov

As I peruse and devour every image in Janson’s History of Art for my senior Art History exam, I forgot how much I love the Dutch painters of the Renaissance and Reformation periods in 16th cent. Northern Europe.  In particular, I love the realism and naturalism of the everyday genre paintings such as Pieter Aertsen’s The Meat Stall (1551, oil on panel).

The Meat Stall

This Dutch style and genre of painting continues into the Baroque and only gets more awesome.  What’s especially interesting is during the Baroque in the Netherlands, we see a focus on women and their place in the market economy, management of their household and educating their daughters in the field.  It illustrates their importance in Dutch society, the wealth of the state and prowess of the artist in depicting the plethora of the markets.  Perhaps it is partly my art history training that makes me so enamored of market places and especially the meat counters — formal analysis of paintings such as this seems to carry over into reality.

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