Fish Market

Joachim Beuckelaer Netherlandish

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 637

This masterfully composed view of a fish market represents a new kind of scene of everyday life, initiated by Beuckelaer and his teacher and uncle, Pieter Aertsen, who lived and worked in Antwerp. It was painted during a tumultuous era of religious warfare, which disrupted the art market and motivated a change from purely religious to more secular themes. Here, the flourishing fish industry is celebrated through the display of great bounty from the sea. Such pictures may have contained a moralizing subtext, warning against the excesses of food and sexual pleasures.

Fish Market, Joachim Beuckelaer (Netherlandish, Antwerp 1533–1575 Antwerp), Oil on Baltic oak

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