Genre painting in the Low Countries  

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The Smoker (ca. 1654 - 1662) by Joos van Craesbeeck
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The Smoker (ca. 1654 - 1662) by Joos van Craesbeeck
Girl with a Pearl Earring (ca. 1665, Het Meisje met de Parel) by Johannes Vermeer
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Girl with a Pearl Earring (ca. 1665, Het Meisje met de Parel) by Johannes Vermeer

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Flemish Renaissance painter Pieter Brueghel the Elder made peasants and their activities the subject of many of his paintings, and genre painting was to flourish in Northern Europe in Brueghel's wake. Adriaen and Isaac van Ostade, David Teniers, Aelbert Cuyp, Johannes Vermeer and Pieter De Hooch were among the many painters specializing in genre subjects in the Netherlands during the 17th century. The generally small scale of these artists' paintings was appropriate for their display in the homes of middle class purchasers. Often the subject of a genre painting was based on a popular emblem from an Emblem book. This can give the painting a double meaning, such as in Gabriel Metsu's The Poultry seller[1], 1662, showing an old man offering a rooster in a symbolic pose that is based on a lewd engraving by Gillis van Breen (1595–1622), with the same scene.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Genre painting in the Low Countries" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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