Dulwich Picture Gallery II


David Teniers II DPG112

DPG112 – A Winter Scene with a Man killing a Pig

1660s; canvas, 68.9 × 95.7 cm
Monogrammed, bottom centre: DT.f. (DT in monogram)

Pierre Rémy, Paris, 1744 (See Related works, no. 1) [1]; Desenfans, ?1786–1807: ?Desenfans private contract sale, 8 April ff. 1786 (Lugt 4022), lot 144 (‘Teniers – Village in Flanders, a Frost piece’; on canvas, 3'1" × 4'1" (includes the frame). £84); ?Evening Mail inventory, 1790–91 (Teniers Room, ‘A Frost Piece’); Insurance 1804, no. 94 (‘A Frost Piece – Teniers . £150’); Bourgeois Bequest, 1811; Britton 1813, p. 29, no. 300 (‘Unhung / no. 31, Village scene, houses, figures - Winter P[anel] [sic: is canvas] Teniers’; 3'3" × 4'2").

Cat. 1817, p. 9, no. 160 (‘SECOND ROOM – East Side; Winter; D. Teniers’); Haydon 1817, pp. 385–6, no. 160 (David Teniers I);1 Cat. 1820, p. 9, no. 160; Cat. 1830, p. 7, no. 116; Smith 1829–42, iii (1831), p. 420, no. 603 (print by Laurent; Related works, no. 1) [1]; Jameson 1842, ii, p. 460, no. 116;2 Bentley’s 1851, p. 346;3 Denning 1858, no. 116 (David Teniers II; ‘Cf Smith 603’); Denning 1859, no. 116; Sparkes 1876, pp. 172–3, no. 116; Richter & Sparkes 1880, p. 160, no. 116 (David Teniers I; ‘Formerly ascribed to Teniers the Younger’); Richter & Sparkes 1892 and 1905, p. 28, no. 112; Cook 1914, p. 67, no. 112; Cook 1926, p. 63; Cat. 1953, p. 39 (David Teniers I); Paintings 1954, pp. 25, [60]; Paintings 1972, pp. 10b, 25, [60]; Murray 1980a, p. 127 (David Teniers II; formerly attributed to Teniers I); Murray 1980b, p. 28; Atwater 1989, iv, p. 1294, under no. 1549 (Related works, no. 1) [1]; Beresford 1998, p. 233; Shawe-Taylor 2000, p. 41 (fig.); Lilian 2009, p. 62, under no. 21 (W. Wagenaar-Burgemeister; Related works, no. 4 [3]; Dejardin 2009b, pp. 18–19; Jonker & Bergvelt 2016, pp. 258–9, 266; RKD, no. 290418: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/290418 (July 1, 2018).

London 1953–4, p. 113, no. 408 (as David Teniers I); London/Washington/Los Angeles 1985–6, pp. 106–7, no. 29 (I. Gaskell); Tokyo/Shizuoka/Osaka/Yokohama 1986–7, pp. 124–5, no. 31 (in Japanese; I. Gaskell); Warsaw 1992, pp. 116–17, no. 24 (in Polish; I. Gaskell); Bath 1999, n.p., no. 10 (A. Sumner); Madrid/Bilbao 1999, pp. 122–3, no. 27 (I. Dejardin); Houston/Louisville 1999–2000, pp. 148–9, no. 47 (D. Shawe-Taylor).

Medium-weight plain-weave linen canvas lined onto similar; fragments of the original tacking margins remain and have been incorporated into the picture plane. The weak tacking edges of the lining canvas have been strengthened with canvas webbing tape. There are many old tears, and some old dents and deformations of the canvas plane are evident in the sky. The stretcher (not original) is of an unusual construction, with diagonal crossbars supporting its main members. The canvas bears a preparation of a warm-brown ground with grey imprimatura, and on top of this the paint is thinly applied. Severe abrasion of the paint film has occurred in the past and there are numerous retouchings around the tears and losses, some of which now appear matt. Glazes appear to have been lost in the tree and foliage. There are some vertical raised cracks in the sky, some raised craquelure amongst the tree branches and in the crowd at the bottom left, and minor craquelure elsewhere. Despite all of its previous damage, however, the painting has a good appearance generally; it owes this largely to its restoration at the National Maritime Museum in 1982. Previous recorded treatment: 1933, glazing added to frame; 1945–53, conserved, Dr Hell; 1982, conserved, National Maritime Museum, C. Hampton.

1) André Laurent (Andrew Lawrence) after DPG112 (in the same direction), L’Hiver (Winter), lettered within image, AL f. 1744; lettered in lower margin: D. Teniers pinxit and A. Laurent Sculp. and Gravé d’après le Tableau original de D. Teniers, de 2 pieds 1 pouce de hauteur, sur 2 pieds 11 pouces de largeur (engraved after the original by D. Teniers, 2 feet 1 inch high by 2 feet 11 inches wide [French units]) Se vend à Paris chez Remy Peintre tenant Magazin de Tableaux, rüe de Tournon vis a vis l’Hôtel des Ambassadeurs Extraordinaires, qui en a le Tableau Original, Et chez Laurent graveur rüe du Harlay ([the print] For sale in Paris by Remy the painter in his paintings shop, rue de Tournon opposite the Hôtel des Ambassadeurs Extraordinaires, who owns the original picture; and by Laurent the engraver, rue du Harlay), etching and engraving, 339 × 457 mm. BM, London, 1850,0713.93 [1].4
2) (in reverse) Thomas Major (Jorma) after DPG112, L’Hiver (Winter), c. 1745–53, etching, 332 (trimmed) × 453 mm. BM, London, 1872,0608.52 [2].5
3) David Teniers II, Winter (one of the Four Seasons), signed D. TENIERS.FEC, early 1660s, copper, 63 × 83.5 cm. Noordbrabants Museum, ’s-Hertogenbosch (Cultural Heritage Agency), NK2416.6
4) David Teniers II, A Winter Scene with two Chimney-sweeps conversing before some Cottages, signed D. TENIERS . FEC, late 1660s, panel, 25.8 × 18.8 cm. Present whereabouts unknown (Koetser Gallery, Zurich 2014; Salomon Lilian 2009) [3].7
5) David Teniers II, Portrait of the Members of the ‘Oude Voetboog’ [Old Crossbow] Guild, Antwerp, signed and dated DAVID.TENIERS.FEC. A 1643, canvas (previously on panel), 135 × 183 cm. Hermitage, St Petersburg, GE 572.8
6) David Teniers II, The Entry of a Princess to the Palace of the Stadholder, Brussels, canvas, 76.5 × 121.5 cm. Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Kassel, GK 146.9
7) David Teniers II, Winter Landscape with a Peasant driving Pigs through a Village, canvas, 104.8 × 170.2 cm. Present whereabouts unknown (Sotheby’s, New York, 30 Jan. 1998, lot 234) [4].10

This belongs to a tradition of depicting the slaughter of pigs in preparation for Christmas that can be traced back to mediaeval books of hours, and that was often associated with Winter in series of the Four Seasons. Such scenes were popularized in the 16th century by Pieter Bruegel, the grandfather of Teniers’ first wife. If Teniers did not encounter those compositions at home, or with his family, he certainly saw them in the collection of Archduke Leopold Wilhelm, of which he was the keeper.11 We do not know whether it was paired with a Summer, or formed part of a set of the seasons. It was probably painted in the 1660s.

An extensive winter landscape is dominated on the left by a row of houses, in front of which a group of figures are killing a pig. The butcher kneels on the animal, while a woman holds a pan to catch its blood. At the right a group of boys stand with straw faggots, to prepare the carcass, and a figure to the left of the butcher also holds faggots. In the background, a pair of pilgrims appear to be asking for alms at the entrance of another house. In the foreground to the right, near a tall tree that has lost most of its leaves, are two chimney-sweeps with long sticks.

The scene with the pig reappears, with some changes, in Winter in the Four Seasons series in ’s-Hertogenbosch (Related works, no. 3). The sweep with a long stick (as in DPG321) and iron scraper is a standard figure in Teniers’ pictures (e.g. Related works, no. 4) [3]. There is a drawing for the women in the middle in front of the last house, where they are clearly shown as pilgrims, like the figure in DPG107.12 The introduction of the row of houses at the left seems to be Teniers’ own invention, but the perspective is remarkably clumsy. The depiction of buildings was clearly not his forte: even in a prestigious cityscape such as the Grote Markt in Antwerp in Portrait of the Members of the ‘Oude Voetboog’ (Old Crossbow) Guild the architecture is flat and uninspired (Related works, no. 5), and the same is true of Brussels in Entry of a Princess (Related works, no. 6) and in DPG614.

There are some similarities between the composition here, with houses on the left, tree on the right, and a road starting in the middle and going off obliquely to the right in the background, and a winter scene with a peasant driving pigs through a village (Related works, no. 7) [4]. But winter landscapes are quite rare in Teniers’ work.

An engraving by André Laurent/Andrew Lawrence (1708–47) shows that in 1744 the picture was in the collection of Pierre Rémy (c. 1715/16–97), one of the foremost Parisian dealers in pre-Revolutionary France (Related works, no. 1) [1],13 and it is likely that it was already with Desenfans in 1786.

David Teniers (II)
Winter Scene with a Man Killing a Pig, 1660s
canvas, oil paint 68,9 x 95,7 cm
Dulwich (London), Dulwich Picture Gallery, inv./cat.nr. DPG112

Andrew Lawrence after David Teniers (II)
Winter, dated 1744
paper, etching and engraving 339 x 457 mm
London (England), British Museum, inv./cat.nr. 1850,0713.93

Thomas Major after David Teniers (II)
Winter, c. 1745–53
paper, etching 332 x 453 mm
London (England), British Museum, inv./cat.nr. 1872,0608.52

David Teniers (II)
Two chimney sweeps in conversation, 1660s
panel, oil paint 25,5 x 18,8 cm
lower left : D TENIERS FEC
Zurich (Switzerland), art dealer Koetser Gallery (Zürich)

David Teniers (II)
Winterlandscape with swineherd, after 1660
canvas, oil paint 104,8 x 170,2 cm
Sotheby's (New York City) 1998-01-30, nr. 234


1 ‘David Teniers the elder. Winter Scene, with Figures skating on a Pond in the middle distance, encircled by a village: at one of the house [sic] on the right a group is occupied in killing a hog; the butcher is sharpening a knife; several boys have collected straw for its singeing, and an old woman is holding a frying pan. A very old man is leading a little girl to the right; and the door is occupied by a young mother and child. The stories are well told, and better painted, exhibiting a perfect picture of village life and scenery.’

2 ‘Teniers has repeated this disagreeable subject in another composition […] Engraved by Laurent.’

3 ‘a “Winter Scene,” by Teniers, ominously frosty and cold to contemplate, this autumn weather.’

4 RKD, no. 290420: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/290420 (July 3, 2018); see also https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/P_1850-0713-93 (May 20, 2020); Jonker & Bergvelt 2016, p. 259, fig. 5, under DPG112; Atwater 1989, iv, pp. 1293–4, no. 1549.

5 RKD, no. 290421: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/290421 (July 5, 2018); see also https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/P_1872-0608-52 (May 20, 2020) According to Atwater the date is 1779 or earlier: Atwater 1989, iv, p. 1383, no. 1696.

6 RKD, no. 26311: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/26311 (July 1, 2018). The museum inventory number is 11.364. Reuter in Klinge & Lüdke 2005, pp. 292–5, no, 94; Klinge 1991, pp. 250–55, nos 86A–D.

7 RKD, no. 200949: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/200949 (May 30, 2018); Lilian 2009, pp. 62–3, no. 21 (W. Wagenaar-Burgemeister; with provenance).

8 Gritsay & Babina 2008, pp. 362–4, no. 436; Klinge 1991, pp. 94–7, no. 26 (N. Babina).

9 Schnackenburg 1996a, i, pp. 293–4, ii, pl. 67; Tiegel-Hertfelder 1994, pp. 70–71, no. 9, fig. 22.

10 RKD, no. 42740: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/42740 (July 1, 2018). Cf. the winter scene mentioned under DPG146 (Related works, no. 1; Fig.; RKD, no. 290472); under DPG146 / DPG142, see note 7.

11 Waterfield & Brown 1985, pp. 106–7, no. 29 (I. Gaskell).

12 See DPG107 and DPG109, Related works, no. 1 (Fig.).

13 See Marandet 2003.

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