Abraham Janssens
(Antwerpen 1573 - Antwerpen 1632 )
A Bearded Man with a Red Cape

Abraham Janssens (Van Nuyssen) was a contemporary of Rubens and after his return from Italy (in 1602) he was very popular and received major commissions. One of his most famous works is undoubtedly "Scaldis and Antwerpia" (now in the KMSK in Antwerp): a work that hung in the Antwerp town hall and symbolized the prosperity of the city on the Scheldt. Opposite this painting was Ruben's "Adoration of the Magi", both paintings were commissioned at the same time and they were (according to contemporaries) in competition with each other.
Our "tronie" is very interesting, not only because of Janssens' typical style with both Italian and Antwerp Mannerist influences: Infrared and X-ray research showed that the painter changed the composition considerably: under the red cap there is a lush head of hair (see attachment). This pertinent change in composition once again demonstrates the originality, as well as the artist as a creative talent.
Oil on panel, 41 x 31,5 cm

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Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne, INV. NR. 1843, in the year 1925 (according to labels on the back).
Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne, INV. NR. 1843, in the year 1925 (according to labels on the back).

Abraham Janssens