20/03/16 Aggiornato il:

Jacob Ferdinand Saeys | Architectural Fantasies painter



Jacobus Ferdinandus Saey or Jacob Ferdinand Saeys (1658 - after 1726) was a Flemish painter who specialized in architectural paintings depicting gallant companies amidst imaginary Renaissance and Baroque palaces and buildings. After starting his career in Flanders, he moved to Vienna, where he stayed for the rest of his life.






  • Life
Jacobus Ferdinandus Saey was born in Antwerp. He was possibly a nephew of the art dealer Jan Saey. He became in 1672-73 an apprentice of the architecture and perspective painter Wilhelm Schubert van Ehrenberg. He became a master in the Antwerp Guild of Saint Luke in 1679-80. The last record about him in Flanders is a stay in Mechelen in 1684. His wedding to Maria van Risma is recorded in Vienna in 1694. He had been active in that city for a number of years prior to his marriage. He was still recorded in Vienna in 1726.
The date and place of his death are not known.
  • Work
Jacobus Ferdinandus Saey was in his subject matter influenced by his teacher Wilhelm Schubert van Ehrenberg who mainly painted architectural scenes of real and imaginary churches, Renaissance palaces and picture galleries. Unlike his master, who occasionally painted the interiors of real existing buildings, Saey’s work is mostly concentrated on imaginary structures and outdoor settings where elegant companies congregate in an informal manner.
Saey excels in the use of perspective and the rendering of different materials, in particular the marble columns. Other characteristics of his work are the recurring checkered floors and his dramatic use of light. He regularly collaborated with other artists who painted the staffage in his work.
A good example of his imaginary architectural renderings is A Classical Portico with an Elegant Company Gathered by a Fountain (Auctioned by Sotheby's 27 January 2011, New York, lot 285). The composition depicts a monumental portico in front of which an elegant company is gathered. The sharp light cast on the building and the contrast between the pale sky and the contours of the portico suggest scale and volume. The inclusion of elements such as the peacock and page boy add a playful dimension to the painting.
The Louvre holds his composition Hunting meal, which differs from his other work in that it depicts an elegant company in a landscape rather than in front of an imaginary palace. | Wikipedia