Forest Landscape with elegant Hunting Party

Denis van Alsloot

On loan from the Kaiserschild Trust
Photo: UMJ/N. Lackner

Denis van Alsloot (c. 1570 – c. 1616)

Forest Landscape with elegant Hunting Party

Oil on canvas

Inv. no. L63

On loan from the Kaiserschild Trust

Princely pleasure in times of war

 

There is also another side, however, to the countenance of the era. It is marked by splendour, the enjoyment of life and a grandiose festive culture.

 

Leisure is an invention of the upper classes whose livelihood does not depend on the need to work. The most popular pastime of the nobility is hunting. Not deer and game, but also their habitat, woodland and meadows, are owned by dynasty and nobility. Hunting parties can often last days at a time but are not just about pleasure. They also train important physical skills such as the use of weapons and endurance in pursuit, all of them practice in the inherited art of warfare.

 

But the upper class does not live solely for war. In addition to the old role of fighter, the new one of patron has emerged. Noble residences are often the scene of intensive cultivation of art. Hence the artist’s talent is always at the service of his patron.

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