Just acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art is a genre painting by Joachim Beuckelaer “THE FISH MARKET”.
Not shown to the public yet, since it is in the conservatory of the museum being restored, but will soon be in showing at the galleries.
This painting was only known until recently by two copies mentioned in a 1986 exhibition catalogue devoted to Joachim Beuckelaer. It is dated 1568 and it is composed by five horizontally placed wood panels that are attached with wood cubes at the back to support the canvas.
The Museum Curator for European Paintings Dr. Maryan Ainsworth was approached by an art dealer who had it, and since the Metropolitan Museum does not posses many of this genre the interest for the painting was immediate.
“The Fish Market” scene is a generously size painting. When I first saw it my eyes were stunned by the beauty of its colors and how well the painting was mastered. With only few strokes of paint Beuckelaer brings us into the painting almost making us feel as if we were feeling the morning breeze and the freshness of the air.
Dr. Maryan Ainsworth and the restorer mentioned how this very much resembles to a Monet painting, with very free strokes of paint specially in the fish on the right corner. When standing in front of it we can se how he even used the back of his brush to texturize the white shine from the fish.
Not as hyper realistic as in the Golden Age with Vermeer, “The Fish Market” reveals to us a unique personality were color and technique are blended together forming figures that appear to be real, but when approaching the canvas we realize that it is only paint we are looking at.