Dulwich Picture Gallery II


British School DPG358

DPG358 – Bagpiper, Girl and Older Man

1670, oak panel, 64.8 x 78.8 cm

Cartwright Bequest, 1686 (no. 175, £5; ‘A pictur of a bagpiper, & a man corting his Lass on a Large bord, in a black frame filited with gould’).

Sparkes & Carver 1890, p. 41, no. 95; Richter & Sparkes 1892, p. 99, no. 357;1 Richter & Sparkes 1905, p. 99, no. 358; Cook 1914, p. 212 (Artist Unknown); Cook 1926, p. 198; Cat. 1953, p. 58 (Unknown); De Marly 1990, p. 52, fig. 27 (British, c. 1670); Murray 1980a, p. 301 (Unknown (?Dutch)); Beresford 1998, p. 306 (Unknown; British?); Jonker & Bergvelt 2016, p. 312 (British?); RKD, no. 282050: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/282050 (Feb. 26, 2017).

London 1987–8, pp. 26, 60–61, no. 52 (N. Kalinsky; Artist unknown; English?).

The appearance is poor. The panel is made of three horizontal members. The joins are repaired, but paint losses remain unrestored. There is heavily discoloured overpaint and restoration on the paint surface and darkened uneven varnish. Previous recorded treatment: 1987, loose paint secured, losses filled and inpainted, varnish applied, Area Museums Service for South Eastern England; 1991, panel members rejoined, paint losses filled but left unrestored, N. Ryder and V. Leanse.

1a) Follower of Pieter Pietersz. I, Peasant Woman with Jug, c. 1600, panel, 68.5 x 53.1 cm. National Gallery, Prague, O 1403. [1]2
1b) Pieter Pietersz. I, Pair of Lovers in a Tavern, panel, 62 x 83 cm. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, 3572 [2].3
1c) Painting of a scene in a tavern with four figures and a child drinking [3].4
1d) Jan Massijs, Merry Company, signed and dated JOANNES MASSIIS / 1557, panel, 74.3 x 103.5 cm. Whereabouts unknown (previously coll. The Earl of Wemyss and March, Gosford House) [4].5
2a) Circle of Maerten de Vos? / French School?, Woman choosing between Youth and Age, a Scene from the Commedia dell’Arte, canvas, 117 x 170 cm. Musée des Beaux-Arts, Rennes.6
2b) Jacob Matham (formerly Jan Saenredam) after Hendrick Goltzius, A Young Woman prefers a Lover of her Own Age to the Riches of an Older Man, c. 1600–1630, engraving, 212 x 276 mm; inscribed HGoltzius Inuent. and Latin verses. BM, London, 1877,0811.911.7
2c) Two prints by Jacob Goltzius II after Hendrick Goltzius, Unequal Love, engraving, 141 x 185 mm and 142 x 184 mm. RPK, RM, Amsterdam, RP-P-1901-A-22283/84.8
3) Adriaen Matham after Hendrick Goltzius, A Prostitute and her Customer, engraving, 435 x 300 mm. RPK, RM, Amsterdam, RP-P-OB-23.165 [5].9
4) Cornelis Dusart, The Five Senses / T’Gehoor (Hearing), c. 1693, mezzotint, 249 x 183 mm. BM, London, S.3812.10
5) Nicolaes Braeu after Karel van Mander I, ‘When ye bags full my pipe most sweetly sounds’, from Proverbs after Karel van Mander, c. 1592, with Latin and English verses, engraving, 245 x 171 mm. BM, London, 1875,0213.316.11
6) Peeter Baltens, The Night of the Wedding, monogrammed PB, with French and Dutch verses, engraving, 178 x 228 mm. BM, London, 1870,0625.657.12
7) Jan van de Velde II, Aestas (Summer), 1617, etching and engraving, 263 x 350 mm. BM, London, D,5.151.13

British School
Bagpiper, girl and older man, c. 1670
panel (oak), oil paint 64,8 x 78,8 cm
Dulwich (London), Dulwich Picture Gallery, inv./cat.nr. DPG358

follower of Pieter Pietersz. (I)
Peasant Woman with a Jug, 1586-1600
panel (oak), oil paint 68,5 x 53,1 cm
Prague, Národní Galerie v Praze, inv./cat.nr. O 1403

Pieter Pietersz. (I)
Liefdespaar in een herberg, last quarter 16th century
panel, oil paint 62 x 83 cm
Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum, inv./cat.nr. 3572

British School
Scene in a tavern with four figures and a fhild drinking, before c. 1675
Devon, private collection

A lower-class scene in a tavern, probably painted in Britain in the second half of the 17th century, after earlier, 16th-century, Netherlandish examples.14 For the woman see another Scene in a Tavern (Related works, no. 1c) [3], Peasant Woman with Jug, by a follower of the Dutch painter Pieter Pietersz. I (c. 1540/41–1603; Related works, no. 1a) [1], and A Pair of Lovers in a Tavern by Pieter Pietersz. himself (Related works, no. 1b) [2], where the man is also touching the breast of the girl. According to the costume historian De Marly, DPG358 was painted c. 1670: it features a rare portrayal of an English farm woman’s summer costume – a corset with two shoulder straps (probably home-made) and a broad-brimmed straw hat. The bagpiper is dressed in an old-fashioned 16th-century style. The man in the middle wears a fur hat and a greatcoat.15

Cartwright’s collection included at least one other depiction of lower-class figures on a large scale: see A he foole with a candell & a shee foole with a mous-trap (Boy with a Candle and Girl with a Mousetrap; DPG413; British). It is not sure whether A Jester (DPG512; Flemish) came from Cartwright’s collection. Kalinsky has related all three pictures to the theatre. DPG512 seems to derive from the same sources as DPG358, i.e. 16th-century Flemish painters like Pieter Huys (c. 1519–c. 1581) and Jan van Hemessen (c. 1500–1556/7). Their contemporary Jan Massijs (1509–75) also frequently depicted such figures on a large scale, and in very similar satirical scenes with ‘unequal lovers’ (an old man with a young woman, or an old woman with a young man).16 These artists included bagpipes in other scenes, such as the prodigal son in a brothel, from the Biblical parable (Luke 15:11–32),17 or in a Merry Company (Related works, no. 1d), or A Bagpiper and his Wife.18 In the Northern and Southern Netherlands at the time the unequal lovers are shown as belonging to higher social classes (Related works, nos 2a and 2b, the latter with a Latin inscription), in scenes mostly without bagpipes. The theme is money (in the form of bags or purses), or the rejection of it. A lower-class scene where a prostitute with a customer is depicted (Related works, no. 3) [4] could also be seen as ‘unequal love’ or ‘unequal lovers’.

According to Guido Jansen the subject of DPG358 is unequal lovers.19 Indeed the young woman, who seems to be engaged to the young bagpiper, as the flowers on their hats indicate,20 has chosen the older man, and taken his purse. Her morals are questionable: she holds a glass in her hand and lets the older man touch her breast. Scenes of unequal lovers usually do not include bagpipes, alcohol, or broad-brimmed straw hats (Related works, no. 2c). Indeed here other iconographical traditions seem to play a part as well. Bagpipes, alluding to sex, may be included in tavern scenes, associated with alcohol, as in a depiction of Hearing as one of the Five Senses (Related works, no. 4), where people are singing in a tavern, accompanied by a bagpipe.21 In a print after Karel van Mander I (1548–1606) with an English and Latin inscription alcohol and bagpipe/sex are associated (Related works, no. 5). Bagpipes also occur in scenes of the Weeping Bride, who is afraid of what will happen on her wedding night, for instance in an engraving by the Flemish 16th-century printmaker Peeter Baltens (1527/8–84), The Evening of the Wedding (Related works, no. 6). Although this is a different subject, the way the low-life figures are depicted in a shallow row (or in a nondescript space/room), the jug and the bagpipe are very comparable to DPG358: probably a print like this was the source of DPG358. The summery feeling of the girl’s dress and straw hat can be found in depictions of Summer, or sometimes even of Spring, albeit on a much smaller scale (Related works, no. 7).

Jan Massijs
Merry company with unequal couple, 1557 (dated)
panel, oil paint 73,4 x 102,6 cm
Christie's (London (England)) 2015-07-09 - 2015-07-10, nr. 107

Adriaen Matham after Hendrick Goltzius
Unequal Pair, 1615-1631
paper, engraving 435 x 300 mm
Amsterdam, Rijksprentenkabinet, inv./cat.nr. RP-P-OB-23.165


1 Numbers 357 and 358 were confused in that catalogue, a mistake corrected in the following catalogues.

2 RKD, no. 283479: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/283479 (March 23, 2017); Kotková 1999, p. 94, no. 58.

3 RKD, no. 219045: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/219045 (April 1, 2017); www.khm.at/de/object/0a1bf96b71/ (July 2, 2020); Ferino-Pagden, Prohaska & Schütz 1991, p. 96, fig. 316.

4 RKD, no. 283490: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/283490 (April 1, 2017); this picture is only known from a photograph, in the DPG358 file. The woman on the left has a similar large hat, and the man on the right wears a flower on his hat. Text on the verso: ‘Painting in possession of / Edward Roberts / Elm House / Park Lane / Barnstaple / the figures in / From this painting / No 358 / was probably copied’. No bagpiper appears here. Moreover it seems more likely that a print was the model for DPG358, and not a picture.

5 Buijnster-Smets 1995, pp. 186–7, cat. no. 30 (wrongly as on loan in the Scottish National Gallery; it was never there, email Tico Seifert, 17 April 2017; DPG358 file); Renger 1985, pp. 38–9, fig. 4. This picture was withdrawn from a sale at Christie’s in 2015, see RKD, no. 277845: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/277845 (April 10, 2017). See also RKD no. 103258: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/103258 (April 1, 2017), which was in a sale at the Dorotheum, Vienna, 22 March 2001, lot 125, and which was made after the picture at Gosford.

6 Winternitz 1943–4; Katritzky 2006, pp. 139, 155–6, 475 (fig. 155).

7 https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/P_1877-0811-911 (May 16, 2020).

8 De Jongh & Luijten 1997, pp. 80–84, no. 9; see also http://hdl.handle.net/10934/RM0001.COLLECT.117779 and http://hdl.handle.net/10934/RM0001.COLLECT.117776 (Nov. 7, 2013).

9 RKD, no. 283492: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/283492 (April 1, 2017). The Rijksmuseum calls the subject Unequal Love: http://hdl.handle.net/10934/RM0001.collect.150366 (March 23, 2017); but Van der Waals (2006, p. 139, no. 206) argues that the print shows a prostitute and her customer. According to Guido Jansen (handwritten note of Ann Thackray on typewritten note in DPG358 file, probably 1980s) there is a painting (in reverse) after this print in Gateshead. See https://www.vads.ac.uk/digital/collection/NIRP/id/32541/rec/1 (Jan. 22, 2021), where the painting is attributed to the Flemish artist Daniel Boone: The Money Bag, c. 1650, panel, 75.9 x 60.1 cm. Shipley Art Gallery, Gateshead, TWCMS:C166 (E. van der Beugel). Matham's print after Goltzius is not mentioned.

10 https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/P_Sheepshanks-3812 (May 16, 2020).

11 https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/P_1875-0213-316 (May 16, 2020).

12 https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/P_1870-0625-657 (May 16, 2020).

13 https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/P_D-5-151 (May 16, 2020).

14 Probably after a print that has not yet been found, as in the case of DPG413 (British).

15 De Marly 1990, p. 52 (fig. 27).

16 Buijnster-Smets 1995, pp. 95–116, a chapter dedicated to the satirical themes Unequal Love and Merry Company.

17 See for instance also the ice scene attributed to Christoffel van den Berghe (DPG514), especially also Related works, no. 5, a scene of the prodigal son.

18 See Renger 1985.

19 Written communication from Guido Jansen (DPG358 file), accepted by Kalinsky in the catalogue of the Cartwright collection exhibition, 1987–8.

20 De Marly 1990, p. 52 (fig. 27).

21 The seventeenth-century French print collector Michel de Marolles (1600–1681) combined prints with people and their bagpipes and other musical instruments on the pages of his album Recueil de pièces facétieuses et bouffonnes (Collection of facetious and comical pieces): see De Jongh & Luijten 1997, p. 22 (fig. 44).

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