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Oil painting - A Tavern interior
  • A Tavern interior
    David Teniers the younger, born 1610 - died 1690
  • Enlarge image

A Tavern interior

  • Object:

    Oil painting

  • Date:

    19th century (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    David Teniers the younger, born 1610 - died 1690 (painter (artist))

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Oil on oak panel

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Constantine Alexander Ionides

  • Museum number:

    CAI.91

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

A tavern interior, a well-dressed elderly couple sit drinking at a table in the foreground while peasants play cards in a second room beyond. David Teniers II (1610-1690) apprenticed with his father, David Teniers I, with whom he also collaborated. Teniers's genre pieces were greatly prized by Antwerp dealers and made him famous. By 1647 Teniers was working for Archduke Leopold William, Governor of the southern Netherlands. Teniers's early work is similar to that of Adriaen Brouwer, who settled in Antwerp in 1631. During the 1640s and 1650s, Teniers began to paint open-air peasant fairs, generally set in front of an inn and often including a group of nobles who watch the revels with amusement. CAI 91 appears to be a pastiche of several of Teniers favourite motifs from the 1640s-50s. The composition is particularly close (in reverse) to Two men playing cards in the kitchen of an inn ca.1635-1640 (National Gallery London, NG 2600). Both pictures contain a foreground scene in a room and a secondary scene in the background. The bearded man in the foreground of CAI.91 resembles a man in the National Gallery picture in dress, hairstyle, pose and physiognomy and both pictures include similar props such as the broom, the wall niche with a glass bottle, earthenware jugs and a similar bench and barrel-table. CAI.91 is executed in a somewhat drier and 'flatter' style than that of Teniers himself and appears to be a 19th century pastiche.

Physical description

A tavern interior, a well-dressed elderly couple sit drinking at a table in the foreground while peasants play cards in a second room beyond

Date

19th century (painted)

Artist/maker

David Teniers the younger, born 1610 - died 1690 (painter (artist))

Materials and Techniques

Oil on oak panel

Dimensions

Width: 55.2 cm estimate, Height: 36.8 cm estimate, Height: 585 mm Frame, Width: 775 mm Frame, Depth: 85.0 mm Frame, :

Object history note

Peter Norton Sale, Christie's 23 January 1869, Lot 1743, bought Ionides for £22 (cf. priced catalogue in the NAL); November 1881 valued by Constantine Alexander Ionides for £100 (his inventory, private collection); bequeathed by Constantine Alexander Ionides, 1900
The collection formed by Constantine Ionides includes works of a wide variety of schools, periods and artists. His collection includes Old Masters, 17th century works, contemporary British works and French 19th century works. Constantine formed friendships with artists of the day, especially Legros, who, having spent 17 years in Britain, became a naturalise British citizen. Constantine proved a stable and generous buyer of Legros work, while Legros, in turn, became an advisor in the matters of art to the attentive Constantine. Under the influence of Legros Constantine developed a keen interest in French 19th century paintings purchasing works by Delacroix, Degas, Millet and Rousseau.
Constantine’s plans concerning his collection conformed to a more ‘public-welfare’ vein of thought than his father or brother. He decided to donate his collection to the Victoria & Albert Museum, instead of privately distributing it or disposing of it in a Sales room.

His will states:

'All my pictures both in oil and water colors and crayon or colored chalks (but subject as to my family portraits to the interest herein before given to my said Wife) and all my etchings drawings and engravings to the South Kensington Museum for the benefit of the nation to be kept there as one separate collection to be called "The Constantine Alexander Ionides Collection" and not distributed over the Museum or lent for exhibition. And I desire that the said Etchings Drawings and Engravings shall be framed and glazed by and at the expense of the authorities of the Museum so that Students there can easily see them.'

The collection bequeathed to the museum in 1901 comprises 1138 pictures, drawing and prints, to which a further 20 items were added on the death of his widow in 1920. The works are listed in the V&A catalogue of the Constantine Alexander Ionides collection.

Historical significance: David Teniers II (1610-1690) apprenticed with his father, David Teniers I, with whom he also collaborated. Teniers's genre pieces were greatly prized by Antwerp dealers and made him famous. By 1647 Teniers was working for Archduke Leopold William, Governor of the southern Netherlands. Teniers's early work is similar to that of Adriaen Brouwer, who settled in Antwerp in 1631. During the 1640s and 1650s, Teniers began to draw and paint open-air peasant fairs, generally set in front of an inn and often including a group of nobles who watch the revels with amusement. The scenes are executed in a richly varied and pastel-tinted palette. CAI 91 appears to be a pastiche of several of Teniers favourite motifs from the 1640s-50s. The composition is particularly close (in reverse) to Two men playing cards in the kitchen of an inn ca.1635-1640 (National Gallery London, NG 2600). Both pictures contain a foreground scene in a room and a secondary scene in the background in a separate room visible through the doorway. The bearded man seated in the foreground of CAI.91 resembles a man in the National Gallery picture in dress, hairstyle, pose and physiognomy. Both pictures include similar props such as the broom, the wall niche with a glass bottle, earthenware jugs and a similar bench and barrel-table. CAI.91 is executed in a somewhat drier and 'flatter' style than that of Teniers himself and appears to be a 19th century pastiche.

Historical context note

Genre painting in the 17th century in the Netherlands generally depicted the lower classes of society, especially peasants, but as the decades progressed and the demand for such pictures evolved, figures from the more elevated classes were increasingly depicted. These pictures usually depict scenes of everyday life set in domestic interiors or in the countryside. Scholars are still debating whether they bear a metaphorical meaning and hidden messages, or just feature a close depiction of contemporary events. In both case they are associated with health, pleasure and liberty.

Descriptive line

Oil Painting, 'A Tavern interior', follower of David Teniers the younger, 19th century

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Kauffmann, C.M. Catalogue of Foreign Paintings, I. Before 1800. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1973, pp. 268-270, cat. no. 337.
Basil S. Long, Catalogue of the Constantine Alexander Ionides collection.Vol. 1, Paintings in oil, tempera and water-colour, together with certain of the drawings.
London : Printed under the authority of the Board of Education, 1925. p. 59.
Jane P. Davidson. David Teniers the YoungerLondon : Thames and Hudson, 1980.

Production Note

According to Kauffmann (1973), this is a 19th century imitation.

Materials

Oil paint; Oak

Techniques

Oil painting

Subjects depicted

Cards; Taverns; Wine

Categories

Paintings

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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