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Attributed to David Teniers the Younger (1610-1690), Tavern Scene, oil on canvas, 30x24cm

This painting features a theme that was most popular in 17th century Flemish art - drinking and dancing merry-making peasants, portrayed at feasts or in taverns.  In his lifetime Teniers was recognised as an accomplished and skillful painter, and although he painted a wide variety of subjects, he is best known for his lively depictions of humble village life infused with great detail and a sense of humour.  These paintings were usually busy, with different activities taking up the entire canvas. They were often of outdoor scenes, depicting the traditional Flemish kermesse or feast.
This tavern scene however concentrates solely on one group of people gathered around a table with the traditional ale pitcher and barrel beside the table.  It probably dates to the 1630s, during which time he painted most of these scenes, which also happen to have a remarkable similarity to the works of Adriaen Brouwer.  From Brouwer, Teniers adopted the sinister and satirical figures set in a smoky half-darkened interior.  In fact, some of Teniers’s early works were formerly attributed to Brouwer, and it is also known that Teniers did in fact make copies of Brouwer’s work.
Both David Teniers II, and his father David Teniers I are best known for their small-scale cabinet pictures, and the younger ones’ rustic genre scenes were very much coveted by 18th century collectors.  Teniers II had a good relationship with the Antwerp art dealers, who appreciated the genre pieces for which he was much acclaimed.  These pictures were avidly collected by connoisseurs.  In addition to these genre scenes, he also painted religious and mythological subjects. 

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