Representation of the food and the markets in XVI and XVII th century, seen by the painters of the Dutch school

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Representation of the food and the markets in XVI and XVII th century, seen by the painters of the Dutch school

The study concerns the modern period,  going of XVI to XVII  century, Europe goes out of the middle Age, the peoples begin to live more comfortably, the population double in number  from the end of 15 e and the end of 18  century.

the Netherlands goes out of the reign of Charles the Fifth, also let us note the dissolution of the feudal system which is going to entrained the development of a population of storekeepers, a settlement of the people, the development of the village and this fact of the middle-class persons, and the rich middle-class persons.

It is in this context that Holland becomes a rich country endowed with a high-powered maritime strength.

Holland is a Independent Land, cut between Protestants and Christians, it becomes a bourgeois Republic.

Rich in a big agricultural production favoring the agricultural economic development towards cities.

This situation explains the development of paintings representing of the agricultural food.

In the turning point of the sixteen and seventeenth century the painters begin to paint the food, before this period, food did not deserve to be represented.

By reveal the food, the painters translate the abundance of this time.

Indeed, the Netherlands at that time is rich; his inhabitants fetch through the world its food; spices, vegetables and fruits and other treasure.

The Low Countries which extend from the current Holland to Belgium is a real economic strength.

The habits and customs of this population are minutely reproduced in the work of the Italian Lodovico Guicciardini. «Description of all the low countries…. ”

It is good question to show through the painting , the wealth of the world, the nourishing earth.

The paintings of this period are commands of rich buyers.

Markets at the end of the average Age play a fundamental role the economic and social development.

As show of it the works of the painters of this time when the abundance and the prosperity are present on paintings.


During his visit at the High school Olivier Guichard, April 27th, historian Patrick Rambourg centers his presentation in three parts:?

  • The scenes of Market?
  • The scenes of kitchen?
  • The set table.


The still life is an exercise representing objects, here dead food, this artistic movement is going to develop towards the end of 17 th and to offer a wide range of paintings, of oeuvres of art which will reflect the evolution of the company.

The market represents the confidence, and the prosperity of the trade.


1 the scenes of Market


The first represented work is the Christ and the adulteress of Pieter Aertsen, iconic figure of the Flemish school.


The seller of market with Joachim Beuckeler’s fruits the trader of green vegetables natural dePeter aertsen mrte of vegetables of Frans Snyders….


We distinguish a biblical scene and in the background of it tripod there what dominates is the abundance of food.

A rising curve of the low right of the work for the left takes shape to draw it first of all composed food on the floor, popular food intended for the poor people to finish towards food carefully put on slack, food reserved for the population of the rich closer in heavens.

Evolution of the art corresponds to the growth of the economy and the changes faithsRed berries are fruits reserved for the tables of the high society.


The human being always had a problem with his food, mainly because it was necessary to kill the animal, what explains partially the origin of the sacrifice.


The beef skinned by Rambrant.



The carcass of the skinned animal returns in numerous works.




2 the scenes of kitchen


Frans snyder «the meat safe ”



Presence of the home, the kitchen of the house, is not the one professional

pieter Comelioz Handmaid in a kitchen Jeremras Wingle

We see bags of spice there.

3 the set table


Nicolas Grillis Floris Van Dijk


Representation of the greedy pleasures, the pleasures are shown as short-lived moments.

The culinary context is favorable in the Netherlands, the dishes are emphasized in all the country.

So, we see decorating with flowers on tables a rich dishes; earthenware, glass factory, dish


Tables testify of the development of the society where they were created

The works are so many proofs of the historic contexts.

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