This lively oil on canvas painting is full of incredible details and has crisp and vivid colors. The painting sits in a giltwood frame and has been signed in the lower left corner by the artist, J.J. Broos.
J.J. Broos, or, Jean Jacques Zuidema Broos, was born in Vorden, Netherlands in 1833. Broos left Vorden for Amsterdam at the age of 19, having already been recognized for his artistic ability. He traveled through Germany before moving to Brussels and finally Paris, where he died in 1882. Broos is known for his intricately detailed city scenes that showcase people socializing in an outdoor setting.
Our painting is a wonderful example of the active townscapes that Broos was known for. In the scene, there is a large outdoor gathering in the middle of a town. On the left-hand side, some citizens sit at some tables underneath an awning. Just behind them is an elevated platform attached to a building. On the platform three musicians ready their instruments (a violin, a horn, and a large drum) while a woman stands beside them. There is also a small dog dressed in a costume that sits near the drum. Behind them a lady stands on a balcony that sits above a window labeled BUREAU (French for “office”).
On the street level, numerous citizens interact with each other. A man in the center of the painting is surrounded by two female street vendors: one is selling flowers, the other has a basket of fruit. To their right is a man in a bicorne hat smoking a cigarette with a cane under his arm and a sword on his hip. He is examining a small boy who extends a halberd, as he leads a processional of children marching. A horse-drawn carriage can be seen behind them.
In the background, a country chateau can be seen nestled in between large green trees. The blue sky is positioned above the chateau with a few white clouds beyond the horizon. The most eye-catching aspect of this Broos painting is the brilliant colors on display. Close to 150 years after it was originally painted, the colors jump off the canvas, from the brown used in depicting the wood buildings to the red lining of the coat of the man in the bicorne hat.
Even after multiple viewings, you will find an aspect of this painting that you have never noticed before. The dozens of characters on display each have distinct facial features and unique costumes. It is a cheerful representation of what village life in 19th century France might have looked like.
Sight in Current Frame
H – 19, W – 25
H – 19 1/4, W – 25 5/8
Please see item details for measurements including the frame.
CONDITION: Very good antique condition. A small portion of the gilded frame has been retouched.