3 July 2007
Jacob Jordaens (Antwerp 1593-1678)
Five women gossiping in the street, seen from the artist's window
inscribed 'Vijf Clappeyen op de straet Clappende vande beroerten ao 1659 1 octobre. Uit de venster gesien' [Five gossips talking in the street about the troubles of 1 October 1659. Seen from [my] window] (recto) and with inscription 'Jordans' on the mount (twice)
red chalk, pen and brown ink, brown wash, the lower right and upper left corner tips lacking
8 1/8 x 4 7/8 in. (204 x 121 mm.)
An unidentified collector's mark HF in a circle (not in Lugt).
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R.-A. d'Hulst, Jordaens Drawings, Brussels, 1974, no. A329, fig. 246.
The raised viewpoint of the present drawing confirm Jordaens' note that this scene was taken from the artist's window. The 'troubles' he refers to are a dispute between the City of Antwerp and the Council of Brabant concerning the revenue of postal services in Antwerp. In August 1659 unrest caused by the Council's policy flared into disturbances lead by the Guilds of Boatmen, Retailers and Boatmen. Guild leaders and city fathers were held responsible by the Council, and when the sentence of exile and forfeiture of goods against them was published in Antwerp on 30 September the disturbances developed into serious popular riots. These were only calmed by an edict from the city magistrates on 1 October reinstating the officers concerned. It is presumably this development which has so animated the gossips in Jordaens' drawing.
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