Jacob Jordaens: Self-Portrait with his Wife, Daughter Elizabeth and a servant (1621-1622)

(Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, Spain)

This time a wonderful self-portrait by the Flemish artist Jacob Jordaens. The artist himself is standing with a lute. His wife Catherine van Noort is sitting in a chair together with their eldest child Elizabeth. A servant stands at the back and is holding a basket of grapes. The background is called a 'garden of love', a common theme in 17th century portraits, and is filled with all kind of symbols. In the painting you can see a parrot (marital fidelity), a dog (faithfulness and trust), vines (inseparability of husband and wife), grapes (wealth of the family), flowers (love, innocence and purity), a lute (harmony of the family). The group and their clothes give them an aura of elegance. This painting is from around 1621–22.