Joos de Momper
Joos de Momper the Younger
Portrait of Joos de Momper by Anthony van Dyck, 1632-1641
Joos de Momper
|Known for||Landscape painting|
Joos de Momper the Younger or Joost de Momper the Younger (1564–1635) was one of the foremost Flemish landscape painters between Pieter Brueghel the Elder and Peter Paul Rubens. Brueghel's influence is clearly evident in many of de Momper's paintings.
Joos de Momper was born in an artistic family of Antwerp and was named after his grandfather who was a landscape painter. His father was and his mother Suzanna Halfroose. He learned to paint from his father Bartholomeus de Momper the Elder who was a painter, art dealer, printer and publisher. In 1581 he became a master in the Antwerp Guild of St. Luke at only 17 years old. It was assumed that in the 1580s he travelled to Italy to study. Evidence for this trip was provided when landscape frescoes in the church of San Vitale in Rome, formerly attributed to Paul Bril, were given to Joos de Momper the Younger.
De Momper enjoyed high-level patronage as is shown by the fact that Archduchess Isabella Clara Eugenia, the governess of the Southern Netherlands, sent in 1616 a letter to the Antwerp magistrate asking him to excuse de Momper from the payment of taxes and fees. THe artist could use the tax exemption as in his later years he was not able to paint as diligently as before and he was spending to much money at the inn.
De Momper primarily painted landscapes, the genre for which he was highly regarded during his lifetime. Only a small number of the 500 paintings attributed to de Momper are signed and just one is dated. The large output points to substantial workshop participation. He often collaborated with figure painters such as Frans Francken II, Peter Snayers, Jan Brueghel the Elder and Jan Brueghel the Younger, usually on large, mountainous landscapes, whereby the other painters painted the staffage and de Momper the landscape. His works were often featured in the prestigious gallery paintings of collections (real and imagined) from the early seventeenth century.
He painted both fantasy landscapes, viewed from a high vantage point and employing a conventional Mannerist color transition of brown in the foreground to green and finally blue in the background, and more realistic landscapes with a lower viewpoint and more natural colors. His wide panoramas also feature groups of small figures.
De Momper’s works are chiefly inspired by the steep craggy Alpine slopes and high rock masses depicted in Pieter Brueghel the Elder's work. His closeness to Jan Brueghel the Elder would have played a role in his exposure to the Bruegel idiom. This is also seen in some of the motifs of De Momper's work which go back to Pieter Bruegel’s inventions, such as winter landscapes and grain harvests. One of his works representing a Storm at Sea was previously attributed to Pieter Brueghel but is now generally ascribed to de Momper. Another influence on De Momper was that of landscape specialist Lodewijk Toeput, who went on to make a career in Italy. De Momper emphasized stylization over naturalistic effects and used depth and atmosphere to achieve his goal of spatial construction.
De Momper's work, like that of the contemporary landscape painter Abel Grimmer, has often been dismissed for its formulaic repetition of stock motifs and presentation while his large works have been interpreted as merely a ‘‘broad-brush’’ version of Joachim Patinir’s world landscape a century after its first formulation. He is regarded as representing the end of a tradition rather than a revitalization or an innovation of landscape painting as was happening in the Dutch Republic in the 17th century. On the other hand, the large size of his works and his collaboration with other leading artists suggest costliness and esteem for pictorial refinement.
- Helicon or Minerva's Visit to the Muses (with Hendrik van Balen for the figures and Jan Breughel the Elder for the flowers - Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp
- Flemish Market and Washing Place - Museo del Prado, Madrid
- Landscape with the Temptation of Christ - National Gallery, Prague
- Mountain Scene with Bridges - Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne
- Winter Landscape - Musée des Beaux-Arts et d'Archéologie de Châlons-en-Champagne
- Dune landscape with travellers and cattle - National Museum, Warsaw
- Alternative spellings of first name: Jodocus, Joes, Joeys and Josse
- Joos de Momper at the Netherlands Institute for Art History (in Dutch)
- Frans Jozef Peter Van den Branden, Geschiedenis der Antwerpsche schilderschool, Antwerpen, 1883, p. 309-316 (in Dutch)
- Larry Silver, Peasant Scenes and Landscapes: The Rise of Pictorial Genres in the Antwerp Art Market, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012, p.193-195
- Joos de Momper at Sphinx Fine Art
- Joos de Momper Biography in: Arnold Houbraken, De groote schouburgh der Nederlantsche konstschilders en schilderessen, 1718 (in Dutch)
- Irene Haberland, "Momper, de" Grove Art Online. Oxford University Press, [accessed 8 July 2007].
- Media related to Joos de Momper at Wikimedia Commons