Dulwich Picture Gallery II

RKD STUDIES

David Teniers II DPG57


DPG57 – Brick-making near Hemiksem, with the Cistercian Abbey of St Bernard

1640s–50s; oak panel, 43.8 × 67 cm
Signed, lower centre left: D. TENIERS F


PROVENANCE
?;1 ?François-Antoine Robit sr [senior] sale, Paris, Lebrun, 6 Dec. 1800 (Lugt 6161), lot 71, transaction unknown;2 ?François-Antoine Robit sr [senior] sale, Paris, Paillet, 15 May 1801 (Lugt 6259), lot 149,3 bt Carle Vernet, 4,520 frs; ?Armand-Jean-Baptiste Maurin sale, Paris, 5 Jan. 1805 (Lugt 6885), lot 8, bt Michel-Maximilien Villers, 3,320 frs;4 Bourgeois Bequest, 1811; Britton 1813, p. 18, no. 173 (‘Closet in Upper Room - West / no. 7, Landscape, brick makers, village church, water P[anel] Teniers’; 2'10" × 2'2").

REFERENCES
Cat. 1817, p. 6, no. 66 (‘FIRST ROOM – East Side; A Landscape, with Brickmakers at Work; Teniers’); Haydon 1817, p. 375, no. 66 (David Teniers I);5 Cat. 1820, p. 6, no. 66; ?Buchanan 1824, ii, pp. 63–4, no. 149 (David Teniers II);6 Patmore 1824b, p. 25, no. 27;7 ?Smith 1829–42, iii (1831), p. 360, no. 379;8 Cat. 1830, p. 6, no. 100 (Landscape, with Figures); Clarke 1842, no. 100 (‘Light, careless, and transparent, but full of sweetness and truth’); Denning 1858 and 1859, no. 100 (David Teniers II);9 Sparkes 1876, p. 172, no. 100; Richter & Sparkes 1880, p. 163, no. 100 (David Teniers II; under the influence of the elder Teniers);10 Richter & Sparkes 1892 and 1905, pp. 13–14, no. 57; Cook 1914, p. 34, no. 57; Cook 1926, p. 33, no. 57; Decoen 1933, pp. 3–5, fig. on p. 4 (copy by Hendrick Aarnout Myin, c. 1760–1826); Cat. 1953, p. 39 (David Teniers II); Gerson & Ter Kuile 1960, pp. 169, 196 (note 11);11 letter from Dr Johanna Hollestelle to Peter Murray identifying the site as Hemiksem with the Cistercian abbey of St Bernard, 5 Feb. 1976 (DPG57 file); Hollestelle 1976, pp. 22, 265, fig. 6 (detail); Murray 1980a, pp. 125–6; Murray 1980b, p. 27–8; Edwards 1996, pp. 164–5 (as possibly being from the Robit collection), 305, no. 149; Beresford 1998, p. 230; De Kam 2006, p. 37 (ill.); Kauffmann, Jenkins & Wieseman 2009, p. 293, under no. 173 (Related works, no. 5); Jonker & Bergvelt 2016, pp. 255, 266; RKD, no. 290384: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/290384 (June 29, 2018).

EXHIBITIONS
London 1953–4, p. 113, no. 412 (David Teniers II).

TECHNICAL NOTES
Oak panel with horizontal grain. Panel has a very slight convex warp. The panel seems to be a single member that has split down the middle, but it is possible that it is actually composed of two members joined in the middle. Previously there was a very heavy cradle that contributed to the severe and extensive blistering of the paint layer. There is much restoration covering losses from flaking. There is abrasion in parts of the painting. Previous recorded treatment: 1953–4, conserved, Dr Hell; 1973, cleaned and restored, Bull and Reid; 1990–91, cradle removed, cleaned and retouched, Area Museums Service for South Eastern England, J. Dimond.

RELATED WORKS
1) (preparatory drawing) David Teniers II, Landscape with Brick-Kiln, black chalk, 206 × 318 mm. Musée des Beaux-Arts et d’Archéologie, Besançon, 151 (photo RKD) [1].12
2) David Teniers II, The Bleaching Ground, signed DAVID TENIERS F, canvas, 85 × 120.5 cm. The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Birmingham, 47.1 [2].13
3) David Teniers II, The Bleaching Ground, signed D. TENIERS. F., panel, 48.5 × 70.5 cm. Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden, 1067.14
4) David Teniers II, Landscape with Fishermen, signed D. TENIERS F., c. 1645–50, panel, 40.3 × 63.5 cm. Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen, Berlin, 866G.15
5) David Teniers II (?), A Lime-Kiln with Figures, signed D.TENIERS F, c. 1635, canvas, 58.5 × 88 cm. English Heritage, The Wellington Collection, Apsley House, WM.1583-1948.16
6) David Teniers II (?), The Sand Quarry, panel, 26 × 35 cm. National Trust, Petworth House, 486156.17
Copies
7a) Hendrik Aarnout Myin, signed and dated H. Myin 1781, panel, 44 × 66.5 cm. Present whereabouts unknown (J. Leger & Son, London, 1935; unknown auction, Brussels, 11 March 1929, lot 73; photos RKD).18
7b) (without the church) Panel, 26.8 × 42.4 cm. Present whereabouts unknown (Kees Hermsen collection, New York; Galerie Internationale, The Hague, c. 1930; photos RKD).19
7c) (church partly visible) Canvas, 63 × 87 cm. Present whereabouts unknown (Dr van Vollenhoven sale, Mensing & Fils, Amsterdam, 15 April 1932, lot 965; photo RKD).20
7d) John Wilson. Present whereabouts unknown (Charles Richson sale, Sotheby’s, 29 March 1832 (Lugt 12930), lot 44 (‘John Wilson – The Brick Kiln; from the original by Teniers’), bt Gritten, £6.10.21

Lent to the RA to be copied in 1887.

DPG57
David Teniers (II)
Brick-making near Hemiksem, with the Cistercian Abbey of St Bernard, 1640-1660
panel, oil paint 43,8 x 67 cm
Dulwich (London), Dulwich Picture Gallery, inv./cat.nr. DPG57

1
David Teniers (II)
Landscape with Brick-Kiln
paper, black chalk 206 x 318 mm
Besançon, Musée des Beaux-Arts et d'Archéologie de Besançon, inv./cat.nr. 151

2
David Teniers (II)
View of a bleaching plant, in the background a church, c. 1645
canvas, oil paint 85 x 120,5 cm
lower right : DAVID TENIERS F
Birmingham (Great Britain), The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, inv./cat.nr. 47.1


On the left is the church of the Cistercian abbey of St Bernard at Hemiksem, seen from the south. The abbey, founded in 1243 and situated on the right bank of the Scheldt, south of Antwerp (in the vicinity of Teniers’ country house at Vilvoorde), was largely destroyed by fire in 1672; rebuilt, it was then dissolved after the French Revolution.22 The brickyard visible in the middle distance was one of the earliest in the Netherlands, established by the abbey in the 13th century.23 The brickmaker can be seen at his bench, with the open drying store and the kiln beside it. In the foreground there are people at work, others in conversation, and some visitors. A preparatory drawing in Besançon shows the kiln and the open drying store, but not the abbey or the people (Related works, no. 1) [1].

Stylistically, this is a typical example of Teniers’ landscapes of the 1640s and 1650s: much attention is paid to the sky, with its trailing clouds illuminated by the morning sun, and the composition is constructed in a series of planes that give depth. Teniers’ landscapes do not usually record a particular scene, however,24 and accurate topographical views such as this may have been specially made for a patron.

Netherlandish landscape paintings were designed to give a pleasant, reassuring picture of the countryside in contrast to the city, so they very seldom show people at work, let alone industrial sites such as brick-kilns.25 There are a few similar pictures by Teniers, one with a lime-kiln (Related works, no. 5) – although it is questionable whether this is really by Teniers – and one with a sand quarry (Related works, no. 6). Especially in the latter we see typical Teniers men, with their wheelbarrow set aside, talking during a pause: not much work is being done. A similar composition with working people, mostly women, is The Bleaching Ground, with what may be a Cistercian church in the background (Related works, no. 2) [2]; there is also a smaller version of this composition, without a church (Related works, no. 3). A further example of harmony between labourers and the countryside is Landscape with Fishermen (Related works, no. 4).

DPG57
David Teniers (II)
Brick-making near Hemiksem, with the Cistercian Abbey of St Bernard, 1640-1660
panel, oil paint 43,8 x 67 cm
Dulwich (London), Dulwich Picture Gallery, inv./cat.nr. DPG57


1
David Teniers (II)
Landscape with Brick-Kiln
paper, black chalk 206 x 318 mm
Besançon, Musée des Beaux-Arts et d'Archéologie de Besançon, inv./cat.nr. 151

2
David Teniers (II)
View of a bleaching plant, in the background a church, c. 1645
canvas, oil paint 85 x 120,5 cm
lower right : DAVID TENIERS F
Birmingham (Great Britain), The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, inv./cat.nr. 47.1


Notes

1 The provenance of this painting is uncertain. It may have been bought in Paris from the Robit collection, auctioned in 1800 and 1801 (see the following notes); Murray 1980a, p. 126, mentions the 1801 sale, and that the picture was bought by Bryan, which he bases on Buchanan 1824 (see note 6 below). That picture was in Paris until 1805. Other brick-kiln scenes by Teniers on the London art market between 1794 and 1834 appear in the GPIDatabases, but they are so cheap (a few pounds) that it is highly unlikely that any was DPG57. The only one more expensive is lot 61 in the sale of Dr Robert Bragge, anonymous auction house, London, 22 Jan. 1755 (not in Lugt): David Teniers, ‘A Landschape [sic], with a Brick-kiln’, bt Lord Lincoln, £66.3.

2 GPID (4 Jan. 2014): ‘David Teniers; La vue d'une pleine campagne aux environs d'une abbaye, qui se détache sur un ciel brillant. Vers la partie gauche, et dans un plan éloigné, une tuilerie avec tous les détails qui y sont relatifs, occupe le devant du tableau et produit l'effet le plus piquant et que présente avec autant d'intérêt l'illusion de la nature. Les petites figures y sont touchées avec un esprit et une facilité qui n'a jamais trouvé d'imitateurs de ce genre; sur bois, 2 pieds 4 p. sur 1 pieds [sic] 2 p.’(David Teniers; A view of open country near an abbey, which stands out against a brilliant sky. Towards the left and farther away, a brick-kiln with all its details occupies the foreground of the picture; it produces a very fine effect and it gives an interesting illusion of nature. The small figures are touched with a spirit and facility never found in imitators of this genre; panel, 43 × 75 cm).

3 GPID (4 Jan. 2014), same description as in the previous Robit sale catalogue (see note 2 above). See also Edwards 1996, p. 305, no. 149, and Buchanan 1824, ii, pp. 63–4. Also notes 1 and 6.

4 GPID (4 Jan. 2014), shortened version of the description in note 156: La vue d’une pleine campagne aux environs d'une abbaye. Une tuillerie occupe le devant du tableau. Ce tableau provient du cabinet de Robit; sur bois, haut de 16 pouces sur 28 de large. (For a translation see note 2.)

5 ‘David Teniers the elder. Landscape and Figures, representing a brick field and all the process of brick-making, by the side of a river; in the fore-ground an old man is hoeing and mixing the soil; thatched buildings cover the bricks, and figures are employed in wheeling, and other necessary occupations. A handsome church behind a row of trees forms an excellent back-ground.’

6 ‘David Teniers, junior – 28 inches by 16. The view of an open country in the neighbourhood of a monastery, which is relieved by a clear and brilliant sky. On the left at a distance, a tile-kiln with all its relative details occupies the foreground of the picture, and produces a fine effect. It possesses all the characteristic marks of nature: – the small figures are touched with a spirit and facility seldom equalled in this style of painting. It cost 4,520 francs at the sale of Robit, and is 167 in Bryan’s catalogue’; ibid., p. 72 (Bryan’s catalogue of Robit’s Collection and of pictures from other distinguished cabinets, 1801, 1802), no. 167: ‘Teniers. – A Landscape and Figures’.

7 ‘This is another by the same artist, but in a different style – light, careless, and transparent, but full of sweetness and truth. It represents a landscape, with brickmakers at work.’

8 ‘A Tile factory. The view represents an open space in the environs of an abbey, where the manufactory of tiles is seen in active operation, in all its details, and many workmen engaged in their several departments. The busy scene is agreeably enlivened by the aspect of a bright day. Painted in the artist’s most free and spirited manner. 2 ft. 4 in. by 2 ft. 4 in. – P[anel]. Collection of M. Robit, 1801. 4520fs. 181l.’

9 1858: ‘Landscape with Figures. Brickmaking’; David Teniers II; 1859: ‘Landscape with Figures. The Brickmakers.’

10 ‘Very spirited and careful in execution, especially in the figures […] under the influence of the elder Teniers; one of his finest works in this Gallery.’

11 Gerson & Ter Kuile mention a copy by H. Myn (Myin), sold in Brussels in 1929 (Related works, no. 7a). See also Decoen 1933, p. 3.

12 RKD, no. 290566: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/290566 (July 11, 2018); Jonker & Bergvelt 2016, p. 255, fig. 4, under DPG57.

13 RKD, no. 71096: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/71096 (June 30, 2018); dated by A. Reuter to the mid-1640s: Klinge & Lüdke 2005, p. 160, no. 34. Spencer-Longhurst 1993, p. 67, no. 47.1.

14 Mayer-Meintschel & Walther 1987, p. 310, no. 1067 (A. Mayer-Meintschel).

15 Klinge & Lüdke 2005, pp. 210–11, no. 57.

16 Kauffmann, Jenkins & Wieseman 2009, pp. 292–3, no. 173.

17 https://artuk.org/discover/artworks/sand-cliff-and-figures-219665/search/actor:teniers-ii-david-16101690/page/2 (June 30, 2018).

18 Decoen 1933, pp. 3–5 (fig. on p. 4).

19 Hollestelle 1961, pp. 276–7, fig. 6.

20 Decoen 1933, pp. 3–5 (fig. on p. 5).

21 If that is a copy of DPG57, GPID (2 Aug. 2012).

22 Identification in a letter from Dr Johanna Hollestelle to Peter Murray, 5 Feb. 1976 (DPG57 file). Murray 1980a, p. 125, says that the church was destroyed, and rebuilt with the entire abbey. See also De Schepper 1957. The abbey now contains the Roelantsmuseum and Heemmuseum.

23 For a history of brickmaking in the area see De Schepper 1953; also Hollestelle 1961 and 1976.

24 Dreher 1978. For some identifiable sites see under DPG95.

25 Gibson 2000: under DPG31 / DPG33, see note 23; also Schama 1987 and Bergvelt 1978.

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