An Artist’s Studio & A Nobleman’s Picture Gallery
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Balthasar van den Bossche ( Antwerp 1681 - Antwerp 1715 )
Balthasar van den Bossche studied under the Flemish genre painter Gerard Thomas (Antwerp 1663-1720), and was very much influenced by his teacher's genre style of interior painting, especially his depictions of well-furnished bourgeois rooms and conversation pieces, complete with detailed settings that helped to display his patrons' gentility. Symbols of politesse, artistic sentiment, fashion and wealth were all attributes intended to show that they possessed all the necessary material as well as social graces. Van den Bossche established a reputation for just such works, and was fascinated by the presentation of studio interiors and collectors' galleries, with the figures emblematic of the arts, as exemplified by the present pictures. Descamps recorded in 1763 that the figures in his paintings were more elegant than those of Thomas.