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Jan Josef Horemans the Elder was the leading genre painter working in Antwerp in the first half of the 18th century. Many of his works in the collections of important museums, such as the 'The Cobbler's Shop' (1712; Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum), 'The Operation' (c.1740; St. Petersburg, Hermitage) and 'Interior with a surgeon' (1722, Wellcome Library, London). Large family portraits by Horemans rarely come onto the market and are sought-after for their elegance and attention-to-detail. These elements are apparent in the present picture in the formal postures of the family, their finely-patterned, rich garments, and in the more light-hearted additions of the jumping dog in the foreground and exotic bird in the background.
Horemans was born in Antwerp in 1682 and became a pupil of the sculptor Michiel van der Voort I (1667-1737) and then of the Dutch painter Jan van Pee (c.1640-1710). He joined the Guild of St Luke in 1706-07. In 1746, together with his son Jan Josef Horemans II (his most notable pupil), he painted 'the Abbot of St Michel Visiting the Order of the Fencing Oath', which is now in the Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp.