Dulwich Picture Gallery II

RKD STUDIES

David Teniers II DPG31, DPG33


DPG31 – Gipsies in a Landscape

Mid-17th-century; oak panel, 23 × 30.6 cm
Monogrammed, lower left: DTF (DT in monogram)

DPG33 – A Peasant eating Mussels

Mid-17th-century; oak panel, 22.3 × 34.2 cm
Monogrammed, bottom right: DTF (DT in monogram)


PROVENANCE
?Gilbert-Antoine Ligier de la Prade sale, Rémy, Paris, 19 April 1776 (Lugt 2531), lot 18,1 1,220 francs, bt LeBrun; ?sale of ‘a French nobleman’, Christie’s, 19 Feb. 1790 (Lugt 4531), lot 81;2 ?Evening Mail inventory; Evening Mail inventory 1790–91 (Teniers Room: ‘Ditto [Teniers]; A ditto [landscape] with gipsies’ and ‘Ditto [Teniers]; A landscape with figures’); ?undated list of ‘Pictures to be Sold’: either nos 139 and 140 (Dressing Room: ‘Teniers – Landscape and Figures’, 20 gs each) or nos 312 and 313 (Little Parlour: ‘Teniers – Landscape & figures’, 30 gs each); ?Desenfans sale, 16 June 1794 (Lugt 5226), lot 86 (‘Teniers – Gipsies in a landscape, its companion 1 ft. 8 by 1 ft. 4, on panel [companion to lot 85]’) and lot 85 (‘Landscape and figures 1 ft. 8 by 1 ft. 4, on panel [companion to lot 86]’);3 ?Desenfans sale, Skinner and Dyke, 28 Feb. 1795 (Lugt 5281), lot 88 (‘A pair of Landscapes, one with Gipsies telling fortunes, the other [DPG33] a Man opening Muscles, of the true silver tone of colouring and a magic pencil, fine. £82’; presumably bt in); Insurance 1804, no. 119 or no. 120 (‘A Small Landscape - Teniers · £100’ and ‘Ditto - Ditto · £100’); Bourgeois Bequest, 1811; Britton 1813, p. 23, no. 230 (‘Drawing Room / no. 18, Group of Gipsies - convent on bank - (comp. to 16 [= DPG33]) P[anel] DT [monogram: T inside D]’; 1'4" × 1'8") and Britton 1813, p. 23, no. 228 (‘Drawing Room / no. 16, Cottages, two figures, a man opening muscles P[anel] DT [monogram: T inside D]’; 1'4" × 1'8").

REFERENCES
DPG31 Gipsies in a Landscape
Cat. 1817, p. 4, no. 18 (‘FIRST ROOM – South Side; A Landscape, with Gipsies; D. Teniers’); Haydon 1817, p. 371, no. 18 (David Teniers I);4 Cat. 1820, p. 4, no. 18 (‘Landscape with Gipsies’; Teniers); Cat. 1830, p. 9, no. 155 (Teniers); Smith 1829–42, iii (1831), p. 306, no. 169 (David Teniers II);5 Jameson 1842, ii, p. 467, no. 155;6 Denning 1858 and 1859, no. 155 (David Teniers II); Sparkes 1876, p. 174, no. 155 (David Teniers II);7 Richter & Sparkes 1880, p. 160, no. 155 (David Teniers I);8 Richter & Sparkes 1892 and 1905, pp. 7–8, no. 31 (David Teniers I); Cook 1914, p. 20, no. 31;9 Cook 1926, p. 20, no. 31; Cat. 1953, p. 38 (David Teniers I); Murray 1980a, pp. 124–5 (David Teniers II); Murray 1980b, p. 27; Beresford 1998, p. 228; Wright 1999, pp. 36–7, 202; Jonker & Bergvelt 2016, pp. 250–51, 266; RKD, no. 290150: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/290150 (June 15, 2018).
DPG33 A Peasant eating Mussels
Cat. 1817;10 Haydon 1817, p. 371 (Teniers I);11 Cat. 1820;12 Cat. 1830, p. 5, no. 61; Smith 1829–42, iii (1831), pp. 305–6, no. 168;13 Jameson 1842, ii, p. 452, no. 61; Denning 1858, no. 61 (After David Teniers I; ‘on copper’; ‘doubtful. Still some insist on its being genuine’); Denning 1859, no. 61 (David Teniers I); Sparkes 1876, p. 171, no. 61 (D. Teniers II); Richter & Sparkes 1880, p. 159, no. 61 (David Teniers II, ‘under the influence of Teniers the Younger’);14 Richter & Sparkes 1892 and 1905, p. 8, no. 33; Cook 1914 and 1926, pp. 20–21, no. 33; Cat. 1953, p. 38 (David Teniers I); Murray 1980a, pp. 124–5 (David Teniers II); Murray 1980b, p. 27; De Marly 1990, p. 48, fig. 24; Beresford 1998, pp. 228–9; Wright 1999, pp. 36–7, 202; Jonker & Bergvelt 2016, pp. 250–51, 266; RKD, no. 290153: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/290153 (June 15, 2018).

EXHIBITIONS
London 1999a, pp. 36–7, 202 (C. Wright).

TECHNICAL NOTES

DPG31 Gipsies in a Landscape
Single-member oak panel with horizontal grain; the edges are slightly bevelled. Buff colour ground. The panel is in good condition. There are battens on all four edges. The paint has slightly raised craquelure, particularly at the lower edge. Previous recorded treatment: 1953, conserved, Dr Hell.
DPG33 A Peasant eating Mussels
Single-member oak panel with horizontal grain. Panel has a pronounced convex warp. There is a small mended split at the top left. The paint film is in generally good condition. Previous recorded treatment: 1953, conserved, Dr Hell.

RELATED WORKS
1) David Teniers II, Four Female Gipsies with a Child, of which One is telling the Fortune of a Peasant, monogrammed DT.F, canvas, 70 × 98.5 cm. Staatliche Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe, 1899.15
2) David Teniers II, Castle on a Hill, pencil, 178 × 233 mm. Musée des Beaux-Arts et d’Archéologie, Besançon, D143.16
3) David Teniers II, Landscape with Castle and Shepherd with Flock, monogrammed, panel, 21.5 × 28.5 cm. Present whereabouts unknown (Noortman & Brod 1982).17
4) David Teniers II, Landscape with Men fishing in the Castle Moat, signed and dated D.TENIERS.F 1646, copper, d 41 cm. Private collection.18
5) David Teniers II, Summer, monogrammed D T F, panel, 13.5 × 18.5 cm. Louvre, Paris, M.I. 997 [1].19
6) David Teniers II, A Farmer eating Mussels with a Woman near a Well, a Man leaning on a Stick, signed D TENIERS.F, canvas, 50.2 × 65.7 cm. Present whereabouts unknown (Johnny van Haeften, London 2009; Richard Green, London 2006; Christie’s, 8 Dec. 2005, lot 16).20
Not engraved by Cockburn.21

DPG31
David Teniers (II)
Gipsies in a landscape, c. 1645-1655
panel, oil paint 23 x 30,6 cm
Dulwich (London), Dulwich Picture Gallery, inv./cat.nr. DPG31

DPG33
David Teniers (II)
Peasant eating mussels, c. 1645-1655
panel, oil paint 22,3 x 34,2 cm
Dulwich (London), Dulwich Picture Gallery, inv./cat.nr. DPG33

1
David Teniers (II)
Summer
panel, oil paint 13 x 16 cm
lower left : D T F
Paris, Musée du Louvre, inv./cat.nr. M.I. 997


DPG31

DPG33


The gipsy fortune teller in DPG31 is a common theme in Teniers’ œuvre. There are two general types: in the first, more common, type, gipsies are set in a sort of grotto or cave, as in DPG314 and DPG323; in the second, as here, they are in a landscape. Gipsies were often considered a nuisance or even dangerous, but Teniers tends to see only harmony and peace. A larger gipsy scene in a landscape with more figures is in Karlsruhe (Related works, no. 1). The castle in the background seems as usual with Teniers not to be based on a real building,22 though the twin towers appear in a more elegant form in a drawing in Besançon, which was probably made from life (Related works, no. 2). There are similar castles in other Teniers paintings (Related works, nos 3 and 4).

In DG33, the peasant sits shelling mussels while his cottage is virtually falling down: the thatch has holes in it, the fence is in ruinous condition, and some piece of utilitarian farm equipment leans against the wall on the left. Although some modern scholars see these peasants as ‘idlers’ and ‘loungers’, such images of rustic neglect are probably meant not to comment on the idle and foolish behaviour of peasants but rather to suggest virtuous poverty or to idealize Arcadian peasant life.23

The dominant brown tonalities of the village and the ground contrast with the blue sky and white clouds, echoed by the grey-blue costumes of the two peasants in the foreground. A keynote is provided by the mussel-shelling peasant’s red hat; such a colour scheme is very typical of Teniers’ work. Concerning the costume, the historian De Marly commented that ‘the mussel eater’s flat hat is Tudor period [sic] in ancestry, for peasants maintained styles a century or more after the court had discarded them’; although these are Flemish and not English peasants, she is probably right when she states, ‘Peasants wore brown and grays, and the men either knee-breeches or trousers. A lot of trousers were worn below high society, by sailors and peasants […] Both men have doublets, which roughly approximate the modish shape but are devoid of any decoration.’24

Teniers painted several variations on the composition of DPG33. In Summer in the Louvre (Related works, no. 5) [1] the buildings and figures are very similar, and there is a woman in the door of her house; but the seated man is not eating or shelling mussels. In another picture (Related works, no. 6) the standing man is resting on his stick and the sitting man is
eating mussels, but the women are differently placed.

DPG31 and DPG33 may have been sold as a pair in Paris in 1776, although the description mentions a woman at the door of her house, who is missing from DPG33 but appears in the Louvre picture. The ‘pair’ may perhaps be recorded in Desenfans’ 1790–91 inventory of the house in Charlotte Street and his undated list of ‘Pictures to be sold’; then certainly in the Desenfans sale of 1795. They are absent from his 1802 catalogue, but may appear in the Insurance list of 1804.

1
David Teniers (II)
Summer
panel, oil paint 13 x 16 cm
lower left : D T F
Paris, Musée du Louvre, inv./cat.nr. M.I. 997


Notes

1 GPID (2 Jan. 2014): Deux tableaux d’un beau faire & d’un beau coloris: dans l’un on voit une femme à la porte de sa maison, un homme assis ouvrant des moules proche d’un puits; un autre homme assis, les deux mains sur son bâton; sur une élévation dans l’éloignement un berger & des moutons, plus loin des maisons & quelques arbres. Le second tableau nous fait voir cinq figures, dont une femme qui dit la bonne aventure à un paysan; dans le fond à gauche des arbres, un château & de l’eau; ils sont peints sur bois, & chacun porte 8 pouces de haut, sur 11 pouces de large. (Two pictures beautifully painted & with fine colours: in one we see a woman at the door of her house, a man opening mussels seated near a well; another man seated, with both hands on his stick; on a height in the distance a shepherd & sheep, farther away houses & some trees. The second picture shows five figures, one of whom is a woman telling his fortune to a peasant; in the distance on the left trees, a castle & water; they are painted on wood, & each is 8 [French] inches high, and 11 inches wide.)

2 D. Teniers; ‘A landscape with a view of Vilvorden, and the villa of Teniers in the distance – the figures are gipsies telling a peasant's fortune – his true silvery tone of colouring, with a touch – light and transparent’; sold, 180 [?] Gs’ (copy in NAL). According to Wright (1999, p. 202), the sale was of the collection of M. La Prade, and the lot no. 61; however according to GPID (2 Jan. 2014), the collection was that of the painter Casanova. It seems more likely that Desenfans bought the pair from Lebrun after the 1776 sale.

3 The dimensions seem wrong, as auctioneers then (as now) gave height first.

4 ‘Ditto [= David Teniers the elder]. Ditto [= Landscape], with Gipsies.’ Haydon then lists nos 17 (DPG49), 19 (DPG146), 20 (DPG33), and 21 (DPG35 or DPG52), and comments: ‘The foregoing five little pictures are exquisite examples of truth of colouring, drawing, and composition.’

5 ‘A Pair. One is a View in front of a house, at the door of which are a woman and a man, seated near a well, opening muscles; another man is also seated, with both his hands resting on a stick; and a shepherd, watching his flock, is seen upon an elevation in the distance. – See No. 158, p. 303 [a Muscle-seller]. 8 in. by 11 in. P. No. 169. The Companion. A landscape, with five figures; amongst whom is a gipsy-woman, telling a peasant his fortune. The back-ground is composed of trees, a château, and some water. Collection of M. La Prade 1776 […] 1220 fs 49l.’

6 ‘Teniers […] This is an excellent little sketch.’

7 ‘“An excellent little sketch” Engraved in soft ground by R. Cockburn.’ According to me this is a mistake; so far I have not come across such a print by Cockburn.

8 David Teniers I; ‘Nos. 61 [DPG33] and 155 are probably companion pictures; they are painted in the silvery tone of the younger Teniers, to whom they were previously ascribed; the dark outlines, however, are characteristic of the manner of the elder Teniers’; wrongly as engraved by Cockburn.

9 ‘The present picture is No. 169 in Smith’s Catalogue of the younger Teniers.’

10 It is not clear which of the following three pictures by Teniers in Cat. 1817 is DPG33: p. 3, no. 10 (‘FIRST ROOM – South Side; Cottage and Figures; D. Teniers’); p. 4, no. 20 (‘FIRST ROOM – South Side; A Cottage, with Figures; D. Teniers’); or p. 4, no. 21 (‘FIRST ROOM – South Side; A Cottage, with Figures; D. Teniers’). The other possibilities are DPG35 and DPG52.

11 It is not clear which of three pictures by Teniers is DPG33: no. 10, ‘Cottage and Figures. Painted with great appearance of truth, and is an excellent little specimen of the master’; no. 20, ‘Cottage with Figures’; no. 21, ‘Ditto.’ The other possibilities are DPG35 and DPG52. For Haydon’s comment on these pictures, see note 4 above.

12 It is not clear which of three pictures by Teniers is DPG33: p. 3, no. 10 (‘Cottage and Figures; D. Teniers’); p. 4, no. 20 (‘A Cottage, with Figures; D. Teniers’); or p. 4, no. 21 (‘A Cottage, with Figures; D. Teniers’). The other possibilities are DPG35 and DPG52.

13 See note 5, where both DPG31 and DPG33 are described.

14 See note 8 above.

15 Klinge & Lüdke 2005, pp. 214–15, no. 59 (J. Mack-Andrick); Lauts 1966, pp. 293 and 302 (fig.).

16 Joconde (28 Jan. 2012); Klinge 1991, p. 324, no. 132.

17 Klinge 1982, pp. 100–101, no. 34 (fig.).

18 Klinge 1991, pp. 151–3; no. 48B (with pendant). Ch. Stewart Smith a.o. sale, Anderson Galleries, New York, 4 Jan. 1935, lot 53 (photo RKD); Dreher 1978, pp. 697–8 (fig. 11); see also Klinge 1982, pp. 96–7, no. 32 (fig.).

19 RKD, no. 224689: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/224689 (June 29, 2018); Faroult 2007, pp. 413–14, M.I. 997 (L. Bolle). It is not clear whether Winter by Teniers, which was bequeathed at the same time in 1869, is really its pair.

20 RKD, no. 114732: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/114732 (May 30, 2018).

21 As stated in Sparkes 1876, p. 171, no. 61.

22 Dreher 1978.

23 Kettering 2008, pp. 2, 14 (note 5), who refers to Gibson 2000, pp. 134, 157–8. See also Kettering 2007 about men at work. In general many idle peasants appear in Dutch (and Flemish) landscapes, concerned with nothing but chatting: ‘Indeed, these idlers, loungers, whatever we choose to call them, singly and in groups, constitute one of the most pervasive motifs in Dutch landscape scenes’: Gibson 2000, p. 133. See also Bakker 2012, Schama 1987, and Bergvelt 1978.

24 De Marly 1990, p. 48 (fig. 24).

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