Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

The Summer

Alexandru Gh. Sonoc
Sibiu, Romania


The Summer
The Summer
Jakob Jordaens (1593-1678)
Paper on fire tree panel, 32 x 62 cm
Brukenthal National Museum, Sibiu, Romania


On the right side, darkened perhaps to suggest an approaching storm, a woman with bare breast is looking up to the left. On the left side a younger woman is holding a child on her left arm, pointing down with the right hand. Between both women another one in a wide straw hat, which she holds with the right hand, is looking straight to the viewer. The woman with the bare breast on the right side of the painting is shown holding a child (in the painting of Madrid) and near to the mast (in the painting of Copenhague), protecting herself from the blinding sun, seems to have a cancer of her right breast.

The painting was shown abroad for the first time in Antwerp (1905), at the exhibition concerning J. Jordaens. It is considered a sketch which was used for the paintings St. Peter finding the stater in the mouth of the fish or The ferry boat from Antwerp (Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhague, dated 1623) and Praise to Ceres or The Summer (Museo del Prado, Madrid, dated about 1623-1625) and therefore it was dated by Jan De Maire about 1623.1 Because Michael Jaffé compared this painting with a sketch called Two female heads and a man from Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten in Antwerp, it could be dated even some years earlier, about 1620-1622.2 Following a note in the handwritten catalogue of the Brukenthal Museum,3 dating from the early 19th c., the painting was attributed to Jakob Jordaens also in the first printed catalogue of the museum.4 According to an opinion expressed by Karl Schellein, who visited the museum, the catalogue of 1893 mentions it as being in the style of Jacob Jordaens.5 Th. von Frimmel considered that it is a painting by J. Jordaens6 and this opinion was kept by the following catalogues,7,8 as well as by the later research,9 till today.1,2



  1. Jan De Maere, Nicolas Sainte Fare Garnot, Bruegel, Memling, Van Eyck… La collection Brukenthal. Ouvrage publié à ľoccasion de ľexposition Bruegel, Memling, Van Eyck… La collection Brukenthal au musée Jacquemart-André du 11 septembre 2009 au 11 janvier 2010 (Bruxelles: Fonds Mercator, 2009 :134-135).
  2. Daniela Dâmboiu, Gut Thewes, Danièle Wagener (Hg.), Brueghel, Cranach, Tizian, van Eyck. Meisterwerke aus der Sammlung Brukenthal (München: Deutscher Kunstverlag, 2012,150-151).
  3. Der älteste handschriftliche Katalog – The handwritten catalogue, kept in the Library of the Brukenthal National Museum of Sibiu (mss. 628), nr 103, ca. 1800.
  4. Die Gemälde- Galerie des freiherrlichen v. Brukenthalischen Museums in Hermannstadt ( 1844, 89, cat. nr. 352, ).
  5. Freiherr Samuel von Brukenthal’sches Museum in Hermannstadt: Führer durch die Gemäldegalerie, herausgegeben von der Museumsverwaltung, vierte Auflage, (Hermannstadt: 1893, 21, cat. Nr 74).
  6. Theodor von Frimmel, Kleine Galeriestudien, Neue Folge (Wien: Verlag von Gerold & CIE, 1894,21).
  7. M. Csaki, Baron Brukenthal’sches Museum in Hermannstadt. Führer durch die Gemäldegalerie, 5. Aufl. (Hermannstadt: Selbstverlag des Museums, 1901, 162-163, cat. nr. 579).
  8. M. Csaki, Baron Brukenthalisches Museum in Hermannstadt. Führer durch die Gemäldegalerie, 6. Aufl. (Hermannstadt: Selbstverlag des Museums, 1909, 181, cat. nr. 598).
  9. Deutsche Buchgilde in Rumänien (ed.), Alte Meister. Fünfunddreissig Gemälde aus der freiherrlich Brukenthalischen Sammlung (Hermannstadt: Verlag von Krafft & Drotleff, 1936,12).


Related article

Medical art from the Brukenthal Museum, Sibiu, Romania



ALEXANDRU GH SONOC, PhD, MA, MS, is the Director of the Brukenthal National Museum in Sibiu, Romania.


Highlighted in Frontispiece Winter 2014 – Volume 6, Issue 1
Winter 2014  |  Sections  |  Art Flashes

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