AN ICONOLOGICAL ANALYSIS OF JOSEPH GEIRNAERT‟S PAINTING AUCTION OF SEIZED GOODS (1835, GHENT MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS)
This article describes, analyses and comments an oil painting by Belgian artist Joseph Geirnaert (1790-1859), belonging to the collection of the Ghent Museum of Fine Arts. Typical for the artist and his period, the genre painting represents a realistic, or even critical or dramatic, depiction of a scene of everyday life: a family being expelled from its home for debts, and its movables being seized and auctioned. Particularly some legal elements in the composition are described and analysed, such as the cloths and signs of the court usher and the local policeman. The function of the artwork is not merely artistic or aesthetic, but it also formulates social critique. Comparing the painting to Distraining forRent by Scottish painter David Wilkie (1785-1841), some analogies and differences can be observed.
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