We are grateful to Anna Orlando for endorsing the attribution of this work which is to be included in her forthcoming book.1 This impressive market scene by Jan Roos is an exceptional example of the artist's aptitude for still life painting in large scale. The artist here exhibits a remarkable range of textures; the downy, white plumage of the geese; the shimmering surface of the beaten copper vessel; the frosted, translucent skin of the grapes; and the gnarled, waxy surface of the pumpkin; each rendered with life-like precision.
The muted palette of the background is interrupted by flashes of colour; the red of the old man's sleeve recurs in the pail, the roses and the beaks of the geese; and the yellows and pinks of the woman's drapery are intimated again in the peaches, the onions and the tulip. Roos here utilizes compositional devices to create a dialogue with the viewer. The bearded man looks out from the canvas over his shoulder as he leans over the stall, forming a diagonal echoed by the white drapery, the outstretched neck of the goose drinking, and the extended leg of the young woman, effortlessly guiding the eye through the composition.
Roos reveals here the techniques developed during his time in the studio of Frans Snyders (circa 1610) for the naturalistic representation of animals, flowers, birds, insects and fruits. Following a brief sojourn in Rome, in 1616 Roos adjourned in Genoa on his return to Antwerp, yet such was the demand for his work in that region. The artist remained there until his death in 1638, continuing the theme of large scale market scenes and still lives indebted to Snyders and adapting them to appeal to Genovese taste.
1. A. Orlando, (see under Literature), forthcoming.
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