Dulwich Picture Gallery II


Circle of David Teniers DPG299, DPG622

DPG299 – Sunset Landscape with a Shepherd and his Flock

17th century?; canvas, 57.2 × 83 cm

? Christie’s, 19 Feb. 1790 (Lugt 4531), lot 84 (Teniers; ‘A clear landscape, with the sun behind a cloud, a most pleasing effect of light is diffused on the hill and foreground, on which are shepherds [sic] with a flock’), sold or bt in, 68 gs (according to a copy in the National Art Library, London); List of Pictures to be sold, early 1790s, Study, no. 21 (Teniers; ‘a large landscape, view from nature’, 60 gs); Insurance 1804, no. 64 (‘A Landscape with Sheep – Teniers . £200’); Bourgeois, 1807–11; Bourgeois Bequest, 1811; Britton 1813, p. 33, no. 355 (‘Closet to S: Drawing Room / no. 7, Landscape. Shepherd & Sheep in foregd. P[anel] [sic] Teniers’; 2'6" × 3'6").

Cat. 1817, p. 10, no. 169 (‘SECOND ROOM – East Side; A Landscape, with Shepherd and Sheep; D. Teniers’); Haydon 1817, p. 387, no. 169;1 Cat. 1820, p. 10, no. 169; Patmore 1824b, pp. 35–6, no. 155;2 Cat. 1830, p. 5, no. 46; Jameson 1842, ii, p. 450, no. 46;3 Bentley’s 1851;4 Denning 1858, no. 46 (David Teniers I); Denning 1859, no. 46; Sparkes 1876, p. 168, no. 46; Richter & Sparkes 1880, p. 159, no. 46 (David Teniers I; ‘A characteristic work of the master […] under the influence of Teniers the Younger’); Richter & Sparkes 1892 and 1905, pp. 81–2, no. 299; Cook 1914, pp. 185–6; Cook 1926, p. 173; Cat. 1953, p. 39 (David Teniers I); Murray 1980a, p. 128 (attributed to David Teniers II. ‘If this is by Teniers himself, it is a poor example of his work. It was formerly attributed to Teniers I’); Murray 1980b, p. 28; Beresford 1998, pp. 236–7 (Imitator of Teniers); Jonker & Bergvelt 2016, p. 264 (circle of Teniers); RKD no. 290431: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/290431 (July 7, 2018).

Plain-weave linen canvas. Light grey ground. The paint has well-preserved impasto in the clouds and sunset and is painted more thinly elsewhere. Glue-paste lined. The lining has become very stiff and the tacking edges are frail. There is a 5 cm addition along the bottom edge. The paint is cupped from the ground and there is incipient blistering of the paint and ground layers. Areas of the sky, the middle foreground and the trees on the left are abraded. There are many spotted retouchings, with more extensive overpaint on the addition and around the edges. Previous recorded treatment: 1949–55, conserved, Dr Hell.

1) David Teniers II, Landscape with a Cowherd, Pigs, Cows and Sheep, signed D. TENIERS. F., canvas, 51 × 80 cm. Hermitage, St Petersburg, GE 1718 [1].5
2) Copy: Ralph Cockburn, A Sunset, c. 1816–20, aquatint, 166 x 227 mm (Cockburn 1830, no. 18), DPG [2].6

In 1817 Haydon was full of praise, Cockburn selected this picture to be reproduced in aquatint (Related works, no. 2) [2], and also the anonymous author in Bentley’s Magazine of 1851 admired ‘the truthful and beautiful rendering of the different objects in the scene’. However as early as 1824 Patmore was calling it ‘inferior’, while in 1842 Jameson commented that is ‘is poor for Teniers, and will not assist the amateur in forming a true estimate of his merit’. From 1858 to 1953 the painting was attributed to David Teniers I. The problems of scale, in this case the giant figure of the shepherd, make an attribution to the circle of Teniers more convincing. The condition is rather poor, but the composition not unlike Teniers: for instance in the Landscape with a Cowherd, Pigs, Cows and Sheep in St Petersburg (Related works, no. 1) [1] there are the same discrepancies in scale of figures, cattle, architecture and landscape.

circle of David Teniers (II)
Sunset Landscape with a Shepherd and his Flock
canvas, oil paint 57,2 x 83 cm
Dulwich (London), Dulwich Picture Gallery, inv./cat.nr. DPG299

David Teniers (II)
Landscape with a Cowherd, Pigs, Cows and Sheep
canvas, oil paint 51 x 80 cm
Saint Petersburg (Russia), Hermitage, inv./cat.nr. GE 1718

Ralph Cockburn after David Teniers (II)
Sunset, 1816-1820
paper, aquatint 166 x 227 mm
Dulwich (London), Dulwich Picture Gallery

DPG622 – Scullery Maid

c. 1660; oak panel, 55.8× 78.4 cm
‘P’ and unidentified symbol on saw resting against the wall at the far left

Miss Gibbs, Clifton House, Datchet; her Bequest, 1951. ‘Sale’ 1977 attr. to C. Mahu.7

Murray 1980a, p. 304 (Cornelis Mahu); Beresford 1998, p. 297 (Dutch School); Jonker & Bergvelt 2016, pp. 265–6 (circle of Teniers); RKD, no. 290432: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/290432 (July 5, 2018).

London 1999b (no cat. no.; Dutch).

Three-member (or possibly two-member with a significant split) oak panel. The side edges of the panel are bevelled. There is a pentimento of the man’s foot. Panel has a convex warp and one or two (repaired) horizontal splits just in from the right side. The lower panel join has been restored and there are scattered retouchings in the background. The male figure’s leg is abraded and retouched. Previous recorded treatment: 1951–68, conserved, Dr Hell; 2006, flaking paint secured, cleaned and restored, N. Ryder.

1a) David Teniers II, Young Girl scouring a Pot, signed and dated D. TENIERS F 1634, panel, 40.6 × 31.6 cm. Joseph R. Ritman collection, Amsterdam.8
1b) David Teniers II, Kitchen Interior, signed and dated DAVID. TENIERS F.1646, canvas, 171 x 237 cm. Hermitage, St Petersburg, GE 586.9
2) Jacob Duck, Elegant Company smoking and drinking in an Interior, c. 1640, panel, 58 × 77 cm. Hermitage, St Petersburg, GE 963.10

On its arrival the picture was catalogued as by Cornelis Mahu (c. 1613–89), but by 1998 it had been relegated to ‘Dutch School’. It could just as easily be Flemish and be placed in the Circle of Teniers. Although interesting, it seems to be a showpiece produced by a not very talented and possibly juvenile artist. It depicts a scullery maid scouring a pot in a large kitchen. She is a stock Teniers figure (cf. Related works, nos 1a, 1b) [3-4], and the objects are also characteristic, but the artist, while demonstrating an ability to depict still life elements, was clearly inept at painting figures in a convincing space. The expansive space is also seen in the work of the Dutch painter Jacob Duck (c. 1600–1667; Related works, no. 2) [5]. A clue to the identity of the artist may be given by the ‘P’ and an unidentified symbol at the left of the picture.

circle of David Teniers (II)
Scullery Maid, c. 1660
panel (oak), oil paint 55,8 x 78,4 cm
Dulwich (London), Dulwich Picture Gallery, inv./cat.nr. DPG622

David Teniers (II)
Young girl washing Dishes, dated 1634
panel, oil paint 40,6 x 31,6 cm
center right : D. TENIERS F 1634
Private collection

David Teniers (II)
Kitchen interior with many figures, dated 1646
canvas, oil paint 171 x 237 cm
center : DAVID. TENIERS F.1646
Saint Petersburg (Russia), Hermitage, inv./cat.nr. GE 586

Jacob Duck
Elegant company smoking and drinking in an interior, c. 1640
panel, oil paint 58 x 77 cm
Saint Petersburg (Russia), Hermitage, inv./cat.nr. GE 963


1 ‘David Teniers the elder. Landscape, with Shepherd and Sheep, with a chateau and bridge, finely painted.’

2 ‘This is in a bolder and brighter style than the preceding [the Chaff-cutter, DPG142], and has a more lively air about it, from there being less sweetness and repose in the colouring: but the expressions are in the same true and natural manner; and there is an attempt to exhibit the effect of a blazing sun, behind some trees in the left-hand corner, which is more successful than these attempts usually are. The work as a whole, however, is greatly inferior to the preceding.’

3 ‘Teniers […] Of the 21 pictures attributed to Teniers in this collection some are doubtful, none absolutely first-rate […] but the picture before us is poor for Teniers, and will not assist the amateur in forming a true estimate of his merit.’

4 ‘Proceeding round the first room, we notice several pleasing pictures, mostly by landscape painters of the Dutch school; but nothing delays us for any length of time, until we come to (No. 46) a landscape by Teniers [DPG299]. Here we pause, to admire the painting of the sky, and the truthful and beautiful rendering of the different objects in the scene, slowly darkening over in the evening atmosphere.’

5 RKD, no. 47230: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/47230 (July 6, 2018); Gritsay & Babina 2008, pp. 367–8, no. 443 (N. Babina).

6 RKD, no. 290535: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/290535 (July 8, 2018).

7 DPG622 was bequeathed to Dulwich by Miss Gibbs in 1951, along with five pictures by other artists (after Adriaen van Ostade, DPG619; after Antoine Watteau, DPG620; Richard Brakenburgh DPG619; Joseph Vernet after Claude, DPG623; attributed to Abraham Pether, DPG624). For DPG624, see Ingamells 2008, p. 215. Nothing is known of their earlier provenance.

8 RKD, no. 290565: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/290565 (July 11, 2018); Klinge 1999, pp. 233–4, no. 88. See also Lüdke 2005b, p. 69 (fig. 6); Lüdke 1999, p. 50 (fig. 21); Klinge 1982, pp. 58–9, no. 13 (fig.).

9 RKD, no. 47580: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/47580 (July 6, 2018); Gritsay & Babina 2008, pp. 370–71 (N. Babina).

10 RKD, no. 194448: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/194448 (May 30, 2018).

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