DAVID TENIERS THE YOUNGER

Smoker at an Inn

1639

Oil on oakwood
Inv. No. 1040

32 × 47 cm

zur  Biographie

David Teniers the Younger of Antwerp was wildly successful with his genre paintings, even becoming court painter to the governor of the Spanish Netherlands. In this scene, a young man has taken a seat in the foreground, his clay pipe lit, and is looking out at the viewer somewhat morosely; a group of peasants at the back of the taproom are engaged in boisterous merry-making. On the one hand, smoking and drinking were considered vices in the seventeenth century, but aside from any moral undertones he might have intended, the painter has taken obvious pleasure in the description of such coarse anecdotal details as the man piddling at the left, and in the wry exaggeration of the physiognomies.

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