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Genre painting
Genre painting

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Genre painting is a term applied to all the depictions of humdrum, everyday living.

This kind of painting flourished in Holland in the 17 th century and influenced a lot of artists. This was a century of the wealthy middle classes, with more and more people beginning to live very comfortably and they subsequently bought art that reflected that lifestyle.

Secular themes are weren't unheard of at the time, but for the most part depictions of the common people were usually meant to signify an allegorical tale of morality and consequence, such as in the paintings of the French genre artist Jean-Baptists Greuse and the artist Phillipe Mercier, who later immigrated to England . This theme then became popular among the English painters of the day, such as William Hogarth- mostly 'conversational' themes of small groups of people or families at the dinner table, discussing the day's events or idling about the house and garden. It was Frans Hals who first painted some few purely genre paintings, and after him came many more. Some names from this group are Adriaen Brouwer, Willem Duyster, Judith Leyster, Jan Molenaer, Adriaen van Ostade, Gerrit Dou,Gabriele Matsu and the famous French painter Jean-Baptists-Simeon Chardin [pronounced ' shar-denne' ].

Genre painting represents a turn of events that is a pattern of interrelations between art and commerce that can be documented as far back as the Greco-Roman Empire. It is considered in the art world to be the sad side-effect of history and these kind of paintings were rarely acclaimed in their own time, and even today aren't worth as much as their contemporary, more meaningful counterparts. The term is also derogatory, with 'genre' simply meaning 'type', and no individual qualifying name is added to it. The scenes are chosen just as randomly; there are idealized landscapes, scenes of general frolic and fun, portraits and still lifes. However, most of the artists of this group were accomplished in their work, and the end result is both heart-touching and warm.

 





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