Allegory of Water (Landscape with Christ's Miraculous Draught of Fish)

Jan Jakub Hartmann

Jan Jakub Hartmann - Allegory of Water (Landscape with Christ's Miraculous Draught of Fish)
Composed as pendants, both paintings represent sylvan landscapes with a far-reaching view of fluvial plain. Their effect is based on a contrast between the darker coulisse of the forest growth, and a the lit view of the open countryside. The terrain is populated by richly coloured and finely elaborated staffage. The biblical scenes Christ’s Miraculous Draught of Fish (Luke 5,1-11) in the first case, inconspicuously moved to the surface of the river, and a slightly more distinctly placed The Encounter of Christ with Mary and Martha (John 11,20-32) in the second case - are almost lost behind everyday activities. The scenes in the foreground - fish and seafood trading in the first painting, and fruit and game selling in the second - suggest that the works can also be interpreted as two of the series of Four Elements, namely the Allegory of Water and the Allegory of Earth. Their coloristic composition, the treatment of space and light, and the careful miniature concept rank the paintings, executed on unusually large copper plates, among the best achievements of the Hartmann studio.
date:
measurements: height 83,6 cm
width 116 cm
material: copper
technique: oil
inscription:
inventory number: O 18771
gallery collection: Collection of Old Masters