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Work: 24,8 x 18 cm
Frame: 34,2 x 28,1 cm
The verso with a customs stamp and the number '6' in old ink. Dr. Klaus Ertz confirmed the authorship of Jan I van Kessel in February 2015.
The painting forms a beautiful symbiosis between east and west. Jan van Kessel the Elder or Jan van Kessel (I), was a Flemish painter active in Antwerp in the mid 17th century. He practised in many genres including studies of insects, floral still lifes, marines, river landscapes, paradise landscapes, allegorical compositions, scenes with animals and genre scenes. As a scion of the Brueghel family many of his subjects took inspiration of the work of his grandfather Jan Brueghel the Elder. On the other hand, a Chinese city can be disentangled in the background. In the middle plan we see men with a 'queue', a hairstyle characterized by a bare forehead and a single long braid of hair. This type of hairstyle, laid down by decree on July 21, 1645, was part of a long process involving hairstyles and the Manchu conquest of China.