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David Teniers II (Antwerp 1610-1690 Brussels)
Property from an Estate
David Teniers II (Antwerp 1610-1690 Brussels)

A boor and a young woman drinking in a tavern

Details
David Teniers II (Antwerp 1610-1690 Brussels)
A boor and a young woman drinking in a tavern
signed 'D.TENIERS.FEC' (lower center, on the barrel)
oil on panel
9 3/8 x 13½ in. (23.8 x 34.3 cm.)
Provenance
Paul Cobb Metheun, Corsham Court, Wiltshire.
Anselm von Rothschild, Vienna, and by descent to Louis von Rothschild, Vienna (LR 857);
Confiscated by the German authorities following the Anschluss, and transferred to the Institute für Denkmalpflege, Vienna;
transferred to the Tiroler Landesmuseums Ferdinandeum by Vinzenz Oberhammer, 14 October 1940.
Restituted to Louis von Rothschild, Vienna and New York, 1947.
with Newhouse Galleries, Inc., New York, from whom acquired by the family of the present owner.
Literature
J. Britton, An Historical Account of Corsham House, in Wiltshire; The Seat of Paul Cobb Methuen, Esq. With a Catalogue of his Celebrated Collection of Pictures, London, 1806, p. 29, no. 3.
J. Smith, A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch, Flemish and French Painters, London, 1829-1842, III, p. 431, no. 645.
'A Plan for Loot: Blue-Prints for a New "House of German Art." How Hitler Intended to Dispose of the "Purchased" Rothschild Collection', Illustrated London News, CCVII, no. 5542, 7 July 1945, p. 24.
Exhibited
Dallas, Texas, Meadows Museum, Private Views: Flemish and Dutch Paintings from Dallas Collections, 19 April-27 May 1990, no. 19 (catalogue by S.A. Sullivan).
Sale Room Notice
We are grateful to Dr. Margret Klinge, who has confirmed the attribution on the basis of firsthand inspection. Dr. Klinge notes that the picture was probably painted by Teniers during his time in Brussels, and dates it to c. 1665. Dr. Klinge has also provided additional exhibition history for this painting:

Coral Gabels, Florida, University of Miami Art Gallery, Paintings by Dutch Old Masters from the Collection of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr., 17 March-14 April 1950, no. 15 (mistakenly described as on canvas).

The provenance for this lot should read:
Paul Cobb Metheun, Corsham Court, Wiltshire.
Anselm von Rothschild, Vienna, and by descent to Louis von Rothschild, Vienna (LR 857);
Confiscated by the German authorities following the Anschluss, and transferred to the Institute für Denkmalpflege, Vienna;
transferred to the Tiroler Landesmuseums Ferdinandeum by Vinzenz Oberhammer, 14 October 1940.
Restituted to Louis von Rothschild, Vienna and New York, 1947.
with Newhouse Galleries, Inc., New York.
Walter P. Chrysler, Jr., by 1950.
with Newhouse Galleries, Inc., New York, from whom acquired by the family of the present owner.

Condition Report

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Lot Essay

In a darkened, rustic tavern, a couple sits at a barrel table drinking. The ruddy-faced man with a scarlet, fur-lined red cap raises a stoneware jug while draping his arm around his much younger companion, who holds a more elegant glass. The theme of "Unequal Lovers" has enjoyed tremendous popularity in art and literature since the Middle Ages, if not Antiquity, and was treated by Teniers on several occasions. Erasmus of Rotterdam, for example, referenced this subject in his Praise of Folly (quoting Aristophanes' scorn for old men as 'nasty, crumpled, miserable, shriveled, bald, toothless and wanting their baubles', who are so delighted with life that they dye their grey hair, acquire false teeth and propose to dowryless young women). While the difference in age of Teniers' couple is not as extreme, there is certainly a moralizing message behind their interaction, cautioning the spectator to beware squandering one's days with excess and vice. Unlike similar scenes of drinking and smoking by his predecessor, Adriaen Brouwer, Teniers eschews extreme gestures in favor of more subtle, individualized expressions and emotions.

In the 18th century, this painting was part of the famous collection at Corsham Court, in Wiltshire, which Paul Cobb Methuen had inherited in 1757 from his cousin and godfather, the diplomat and ambassador Sir Paul Methuen (1672-1757). In 1806, John Britton praised Sir Paul Methuen's connoisseurship and the collection as a whole, writing, "The Methuen collection, I believe, is the only one made at that period which has continued perfect to the present time" (op. cit., p. 105). At Corsham Court, A boor and a young women drinking in a tavern was exhibited with a pendant, also by Teniers, of a man and woman smoking (present location unknown), which was described in 1831 by John Smith as "A boor and a Female sitting at table together; the latter is lighting her pipe. In the back of the room are four men smoking and drinking" (op. cit., p. 430, no. 644).

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