Kitchen Still Life with Christ in the House of Mary and Martha – A Showpiece by Frans Ykens (1601-1693)

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Phoebus Focus II

Things are not always what they seem. Take this Kitchen Still Life with Christ in the House of Mary and Martha, for instance. Were it not for the title, a casual glance might reveal nothing more than a common or garden still life. But look again, more closely this time, and the painting opens up a whole world, as this edition of Phoebus Focus shows. Frans Ykens (1601-1693) was a skilled exponent of the splendid Flemish tradition of kitchen still lifes and market scenes. The genre became hugely popular in Antwerp’s flourishing sixteenth-century heyday and is exemplified in works by the likes of Pieter Aertsen (c.1508-1575) and his pupil and nephew Joachim Beuckelaer (c.1533-1574).

Prisca Valkeneers
(1978) graduated from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in 2007 with a master’s degree in Art History and Archaeology. Her thesis on Gothic vault painting won the Algemeen Nederlands Verbond dissertation prize. She spent almost ten years as a scientific assistant at the Centrum Rubenianum in Antwerp, where she lost her heart to the Flemish masters and to Rubens in particular. She has lectured at national and international conferences and published on both the Gothic period and the seventeenth century. Now a freelance art historian working in the broad cultural domain, she is passionate about conveying art and culture as a fascinating story, written or narrated, to diverse groups of all ages.

  • 21 x 14.8 cm
  • 72 pages
  • Softcover with flaps
  • Quadrichromy
  • English edition
  • ISBN 978 94 6436 695 2

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