Joachin Beuckelaer

Born: After 1533  - Death: 1574    Located in: The Tintoretto and Barocci Room

Joachin Beuckelaer (or Joachim) was a Flemish painter born in Antwerp. He was an influential artist of everyday scenes set in Kitchens and Markets, often containing religious subtleties in the background. He is noted as the first painter to depict the fish stalls of Belgium (Kren and Marx, Web Gallery of Art).

A unique work combing his religious subjects and the fish stalls, is a piece titled, Water, from his Four Elements Series, which depicts twelve varieties of fish, symbolic of the twelve Disciples of Christ, where Jesus is also depicted in the background (National Gallery, London). All four paintings of the Four Elements Series, including also, Air, Fire and, Earth, are now in the National Gallery of London.

Beuckelaer also painted strictly religious subjects, as in his The Flight into Egypt, housed in the Rockox House of Antwerp. There is also his work now in the Uffizi Gallery, Pilate Shows Jesus to the People, depicting Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor who presided over the trial of Jesus.

The artist is mentioned as having come from an obscure family of painters from Antwerp (The Grove Dictionary of Art). He trained with his uncle, Pieter Aertsen (1507 – 1575), called Long Peter (1507 – 1575), a Dutch painter whose genre works were influential in Italy. Aertsen’s influence can be seen strongly in works of Beuckelaer, such as his, The Cook, from 1574.

The artist’s works were rich in vivid characters, plentitudes of still-life objects, natural and architectural backgrounds, as well as in their moral essence. He had a lasting influence on Italian artists such as the Cremonese painter, Vincenzo Campi (1536 – 1591).

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