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    Sale 3063

    Old Masters & 19th Century Art - (including Dutch Impressionism)

    24 - 25 May 2016, Amsterdam

  • Lot 96

    David Teniers II (Antwerp 1610-1690 Brussels)

    A merry company gathering outside a tavern

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    David Teniers II (Antwerp 1610-1690 Brussels)
    A merry company gathering outside a tavern
    signed 'D . TENIERS . FEC' (lower right)
    oil on canvas
    49.5 x 97.3 cm.


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    A crowd of peasants feast outside an enormous tavern on a sunny day. The artist has accommodated the numerous figures in a wide composition, ingeniously shifting the beholder’s attention from the left, where two maids are washing dishes, to the partying crowd that closes off the scene at the right. The distant view to a village with a church spire rising up from a woody screen effectively draws the viewer further into the picture. The vista is vaguely reflected in a pond, which balances the strong compositional accents on either side. The tavern, farmhouses and trees in the foreground are sharply delineated against the bright blue sky filled with creamy clouds.

    Peasants’ feasts make up for a large part of David Teniers’ output and he painted them throughout his productive career. After Pieter Bruegel had introduced peasants’ dances and wedding feasts in the 1560s, they remained a quintessential theme of Flemish art well into the eighteenth century with artists such as Theobald Michau. Teniers’ depictions of partying peasants constitute a highpoint in this tradition. Although they elaborate on earlier treatments, the scope and variation of Teniers’ scenes of peasant revelry is astounding. The many acutely observed details furthermore lend them a sense of immediacy. At the same time Teniers’ outdoor peasant parties share an idealized vision of the subject.

    One of the most appealing qualities of scenes such as the present is the wealth of comical detail. A signature motif of Teniers is the bagpipe player performing, standing on a barrel. Other amusing figures that recur are the men relieving themselves against a wall. In some of Teniers’ rural festival scenes the figures are individualized to the extent of portraiture. Here, we perceive them from a safe distance as tiny and anonymous. The artist was more concerned with bringing across a serene and peaceful atmosphere of the scene as a whole than plunging the beholder in the midst of the revelling.

    No doubt, the present work dates from Teniers’ later period, the 1660s or slightly later, and was thus painted in Brussels, where the artist had settled in 1650. One of the characteristics of the Teniers’ later manner is the virtuoso brushwork and delicate colouring, both of which perfectly match with the scene’s carefree and bucolic mood.

    Provenance

    Prince Phillippe Francois Rubempre; his sale;
    P. de Bast, Brussels, 11 April 1765, lot 50, together with an erroneous pendant (1910 francs to Donckers).
    Sir Samuel Scott, London, circa 1861.
    with D. Katz, Rotterdam, 1935.
    with D. Katz, Dieren, 1937.
    with D. Katz, Dieren, 1962-63.
    Anonymous sale; Christie’s, Amsterdam, 28 November 1989, lot 220, where acquired by the present owner (Dfl. 805,000).


    Literature

    J. Smith, A Catalogue Raisonné, etc. 1831, III, p. 293, no. 120 and under 131.


    Exhibited

    London, British Institution, Exhibition of the works of Ancient Masters, June 1861, no. 94.
    Brussels, Exposition Universelle et Internationale de Bruxelles, cinq siècles d'Art, 24 May - 13 October 1935, no. 247.
    Rotterdam, Gallery D. Katz, Tentoonstelling van schilderijen door Oud-Hollandsche en Vlaamsche Meesters, 16 November - 15 December 1935, no. 74.
    New York, Schaeffer Galleries, Exhibition of Old Masters, April 1936, no. 19, ill.
    Dieren, Gallery D. Katz, Tentoonstelling van Belangrijke 16e en 17e eeuwsche Hollandse schilderijen, 3 July - 15 September 1937, no. 96.
    Dieren, Gallery D. Katz, Belangrijke Tentoonstelling van Oude Hollandse en Vlaamse Meesters, 22 November 1962 - 15 January 1963, no. 54, ill.