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CRAYER, Gaspard de

Job Tormented by his Wife

Job Tormented by his Wife
Date : 1619
Designation : Job dans l'adversité
Field : Peinture
Material : Toile
Technique : Peinture à l'huile
Dimensions (cm) : Largeur : 196 Hauteur : 268
Location : Exhibited
Room : église
Inventory number : 2004 1 18

It is in Rubens’ workshop, where the best painters of Antwerp (Van Dyck, Jordaens, etc.) are trained, that the rise of Baroque painting in Flanders begins. In his own manner Crayer takes up a lost composition by Rubens on the theme of Job, lying on a dunghill. In a landscape of ruins, he seems resigned to his fate and suffers the insults of his wife, represented as a shrew. The piece was painted in 1619 for the Cathedral of Saint Bavon in Ghent. Its original shape was arched but the top angles were added so that it fit into a rectangular altar. Job, a symbol of enduring belief despite everything, was often invoked during plague epidemics. Crayer gave his subject a universal resonance by depicting highly contrasting characters, composing a scene at once alive and grave, an excellent example of persuasive painting intended for the faithful, following the precepts of the Counter-Reformation.

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