In 2009, the King Baudouin Foundation acquired the painting "The bagpipe player" by Jacob Jordaens (1593-1678) through the Courtin-Bouché fund. The foundation donated the work to the Rubens House as a permanent loan.
"The bagpipe player" is probably by Jacob Jordaens himself, and he must have painted it when he was well in his Fifties. It is an excellent example of his work around 1640-45. During this period, Jordaens excelled at controlled, balanced compositions and virtuoso brushwork.
Jordaens, one of the three major Baroque painters in the Southern Netherlands, was fond of painting popular scenes with real-life characters. He was an absolute master when it came to genre paintings. The bag pipes, which were traditionally considered an instrument of popular music, tie in perfectly with this. Jordaens's exuberant paintings were very popular with the higher classes, who quite enjoyed these popular scenes.