Joachim Beuckelaer (1533-1573)

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Joachim Beuckelaer was a 16th century Belgian artist, who was born and died in Antwerp. He came from a family of artists and was a pupil of his uncle, Pieter Aertsen, whose market scenes were extremely popular. Initially influenced by his teacher in his choice of subject matter, Beuckelaer soon developed his own iconographic versions of kitchen and market scenes.

Beuckelaer Painting, The Cook

The Cook  

Beuckelaer Painting, Market Scene

Market Scene

In the early 1560s, he was already developing his unmistakable style, which was characterized by the background being moved to the depths of the painting while the foreground was brought right up to its surface, with no harmonizing middle ground between them. These market scenes remained popular and sought-after way into the 17th century.

Beuckelaer Painting, Slaughtered Pig

Slaughtered Pig 

Beuckelaer Painting, Market Scene with Chicken

Market Scene with Chicken  

They show rural life from the perspective of town dwellers, a way of life which was often caricatured, but also idealized. Some art critics also believe that Beukelaer also included religious allusions into the background of his compositions in order to purvey his own moral themes, one of which was the Four Elements.

Beuckelaer Painting, The Four Elements, Air, A Poultry Market with the Prodigal Son in the Background

The Four Elements, Air, A Poultry Market with the Prodigal Son in the Background
Courtesy The National Gallery, London

Beuckelaer Painting, The Four Elements, Earth

The Four Elements, Earth

Beuckelaer Painting, The Four Elements, Fire

The Four Elements, Fire
Courtesy The National Gallery, London

Beuckelaer Painting, The Four Elements, Water

The Four Elements, Water

Art historians believe that his style was influenced by northern Italian masters, and that he was likely influenced by Annibale Carracci. During his lifetime, he also created landscapes of the riverbanks and forests of northern Europe. However, Beuckelaer created so many market scenes for which he became known that he and other artists of the time flooded the market with them. As a result, his work was not as valuable until after his death. Interestingly, art historians also credit Beukelaer as being the first artist to ever depict fish stalls.

Beuckelaer Painting, The Fish Market

The Fish Market

Beuckelaer Painting, The Fish Market

Fish Market

One of Beukelaer’s particularly favorite compositions was to paint a seated woman with overflowing baskets of produce, in an almost cornucopian fashion. Note the exquisite detailing on Beukelaer’s heads of cabbage in particular. While his study of human anatomy was good, Beuielaer was indefinitely a master at painting still life.

Beuckelaer Painting, Market Woman with Fruit, Vegetables and Poultry

Market Woman with Fruit, Vegetables and Poultry

Beuckelaer Painting, The Vegetable Seller

The Vegetable Seller

We appraise paintings by Beuckelaer, from his workshop, and by his followers. If you believe you own a work of art by Beuckelaer, contact Art Experts. We authenticate, appraise, research and provide Certificates of Authenticity (COA's) for works by Beuckelaer.