Dulwich Picture Gallery II


David Teniers II DPG54

DPG54 – A Guard Room

1640s; canvas, 72.4 × 55.8 cm, including a strip c. 2.5 cm wide at the right edge, possibly added
Signed, bottom right: D. TENIERS Fe

?‘The Nevilles of Amsterdam’;1 ? Sir Laurence Dundas of Kerse, 1769–70 (see Related works, no. 7) [5]; ?Sir Laurence Dundas sale, Greenwood, London, 30 May 1794 (Lugt 5215), lot 33,2 bt Philip Metcalfe, £ 52.10; Insurance 1804, no. 30 (‘A Corps de Garde – Teniers · £150’); Bourgeois, 1807–11; Bourgeois Bequest, 1811; Britton 1813, p. 1, no. 5 (‘Small parlour / no. 5, Guard room: 2 figures: a dog: – Armour, drums Can[vas] Teniers’; 3'6" × 3').

Cat. 1817, p. 9, no. 152 (‘SECOND ROOM – East Side; A Guard-Room; D. Teniers’); Haydon 1817, p. 384, no. 152 (David Teniers I);3 Cat. 1820, p. 9, no. 152; Cat. 1830, p. 5, no. 50; ?Smith 1829–42, iii (1831), p. 354, no. 355 or 356;4 Jameson 1842, ii, p. 451, no. 50;5 Denning 1858 and 1859, no. 50;6 Sparkes 1876, p. 170, no. 50 (David Teniers II); Richter & Sparkes 1880, p. 164, no. 50 (David Teniers II; ‘A late work of the artist’); Richter & Sparkes 1892 and 1905, p. 13, no. 54; Cook 1914, pp. 31–2, no. 54; Cook 1926, p. 32, no. 54; Cat. 1953, p. 39 (David Teniers II); Murray 1980a, p. 125 (‘Previously catalogued as a late work, but the similarity to the Amsterdam picture makes a date in the 1640s more likely’); Murray 1980b, p. 27 (probably 1640s); Beresford 1998, p. 230 (‘Probably painted in the 1640s’); Klinge & Lüdke 2005, p. 172, under no. 40, fig. 40/a (Related works, no. 1) [1]; Jonker & Bergvelt 2016, pp. 247–8, 266; RKD, no. 290065: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/290065 (June 15, 2018).

London 1953–4, p. 108, no. 387 (Teniers I); Rye 1972, p. [14], no. 31; London 1999b (no cat. no; c. 1640s)

Plain-weave linen canvas. Glue-paste lined; tacking margins present. There is an unpainted margin on the left edge (possibly the original tacking margin, incorporated into the painting to extend it), and on the right edge there is a narrow addition. There is a 6 cm restored tear in the centre. This work is thinly painted and slightly abraded in the darks and half-tones. There are two areas of raised craquelure. There are scattered old discoloured retouchings over the paint surface. Previous recorded treatment: 1953, cleaned and restored, Dr Hell.

1) (possible pair to DPG54) David Teniers II, The Guardhouse, signed D. TENIERS, c. 1646, canvas, 72.6 × 55.4 cm. Art Institute of Chicago, Charles L. Hutchinson Collection, 1894.1029 [1].7
2a) David Teniers II, A Guard Room, c. 1640–50, canvas, 67 × 52 cm. Prado, Madrid, P01812.8
2b) David Teniers II, A Guard Room, signed and dated D. Teniers. F. 1641, canvas, 61 × 94.5 cm.RM, Amsterdam, SK-A-398. [2]9
2c) David Teniers II, A Guard Room, signed and dated DAVID TENIERS F 1642, panel, 69 × 103 cm. Hermitage, St Petersburg, GE 583.10
2d) David Teniers II, The Drummer, signed and dated D. TENIERS. F 1647, copper, 49.5 x 65.3 cm. Royal Collection Trust, RCIN 406577.11
3a) David Teniers II, Guard Room with the Deliverance of St Peter, signed D·TENIERS·f, panel, 55.2 x 75.9 cm. MMA, New York, Gift of Edith Neuman de Végvár, in honor of her husband, Charles Neuman de Végvár, 64.65.5 [3].12
3b) David Teniers II, A Guard Room with the Deliverance of St Peter, signed D. TENIERS. F., copper, 58 × 78 cm. Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden, 1077.13
3c) David Teniers II, A Guard Room with the Deliverance of St Peter, signed D. TENIERS, copper, 57 × 77.5 cm. Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon, A 110.14
3d) David Teniers II, A Guard Room with the Deliverance of St Peter, copper, 55 × 73 cm. Formerly Gemäldegalerie, Berlin, destroyed during WWII.15
3e) David Teniers II, A Guard Room with the Deliverance of St Peter, signed D.TENIERS. F, copper, 36 × 49.6 cm. Wallace Collection, London, P210.16
4) David Teniers II, The Crowning with Thorns, signed and dated D. TENIERS.F and 1641, copper, 57 × 75 cm. NG, London, NG6665 (gift from the collection of Willem Baron van Dedem, 2017).17
5) Abraham Teniers, A Guard Room, copper, 49 × 68 cm. Prado, Madrid, P01784 [4].18
6) David Teniers II, Studies of Armour, grey and black watercolour, white bodycolour, black chalk, buff-grey wash, 251 × 206 mm. Courtauld Institute of Art, London, D.1952.RW.2724.19
7) John Zoffany, Portrait of Sir Lawrence Dundas with his Grandson, 1769–70, canvas, 101.6 × 127 cm. Marquess of Zetland collection, Aske, Richmond, North Yorkshire [5].20

The scene shows a kortegaard or guard room. Guardhouse scenes were popular between about 1620 and 1680, in both war-torn Flanders and the much quieter Northern Netherlands, notably in the œuvres of Pieter Codde (1599–1678), Jacob Duck (c. 1600–1667) and Anthonie Palamedesz (1602–73).21 Several dozen kortegaard scenes were painted in the South, and some hundreds in the North.22 David Teniers II was among the painters attracted to the subject. From the 1640s on he produced numerous pictures of soldiers drinking or playing cards in guard rooms, usually in what seems to be a large hall in a castle. He generally followed a simple formula of placing a still life of weapons, armour and military equipment – which could be interpreted as trophies – in the foreground and soldiers in the background.23 This is the arrangement in DPG54 and in pictures in Chicago (Related works, no. 1) [1] and the Prado (Related works, no. 2a). A similar Guard Room in Amsterdam is dated 1641 (Related works, no. 2b) [2], and one in the Hermitage is dated a year later (Related works, 2c), so DPG54 might plausibly be dated to around this time, as Murray suggested in 1980. For figures, the building and the armour Teniers made preparatory drawings in pencil, or, in the case of the drawing in the Courtauld Institute, in several media (Related works, no. 6).

Some of these guard room scenes include religious subjects. The deliverance of St Peter (Acts 12: 5–11) appears in paintings in New York (Related works, no. 3a) [3], Dresden (Related works, no. 3b), Lyon (Related works, no. 3c), formerly Berlin (Related works, no. 3d), and the Wallace Collection (Related works, no. 3e); and the Crowning with Thorns in a painting in London (Related works, no. 4). Teniers’ son Abraham continued to use the basic composition (Related works, no. 5 [4]; here the boy in DPG54 is replaced by a black page). All these examples – and others too numerous to mention – are set in a vaulted room with a lantern suspended from a rope on the right. It has been suggested apropos one of the religious pictures that the lantern is a symbol of man’s blindness, and that seems likely, as Teniers frequently added symbolic objects.24

According to Klinge, DPG54 features as the upper picture on the right-hand wall in the portrait of Sir Lawrence Dundas (c. 1710–81) with his grandson of the same name (1766–1839) by John Zoffany (1733–1810; Related works, no. 7) [5].25 Dundas was Commissary-General and Paymaster to the Army in Scotland, Flanders and Germany during the Seven Years’ War (1756–63), and an important collector of Dutch and Flemish art.26 Klinge assumes that DPG54 and the painting in Chicago (Related works, no. 1) [1] formed a pair, and were together in the Dundas collection.

They are indeed about the same size, and have a composition that looks mirrored when the Chicago painting is on the left: the flagpole diagonally pointing to the right there almost forms a triangle with the line dividing light and shadow in DPG54, and the boys, one with a cloak and the other with a sword and a sash over his arms, walk towards each other (albeit they are looking in different directions).

Smith in 1831 said that DPG54 had been in the collection of Dundas, based on the Dundas sale catalogue of 1794, but he added that that both pictures were on copper,27 which was not said in the 1794 catalogue, while the pictures in Dulwich and Chicago are on canvas. DPG54 does look very much like the picture in the Zoffany painting (more than the picture in Chicago, which is as it were in reverse), but it is questionable whether it was in the Dundas collection, as Teniers produced many pictures with similar compositions. The only difference is that Zoffany shows it with a landscape format: that could reflect Zoffany’s artistic freedom, or it could be a different picture.

David Teniers (II)
Guard Room, 1640s
canvas, oil paint 72,4 x 55,8 cm
Dulwich (London), Dulwich Picture Gallery, inv./cat.nr. DPG54

David Teniers (II)
Guardhouse, 1640-1650
canvas, oil paint 72,6 x 55,4 cm
lower left : D. TENIERS
Chicago (Illinois), The Art Institute of Chicago, inv./cat.nr. 1894.1029

David Teniers (II)
Guard room, dated 1641
canvas, oil paint 61 x 94,5 cm
Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, inv./cat.nr. SK-A-398

David Teniers (II)
Guardroom with the Deliverance of Saint Peter, c. 1645–47
panel, oil paint 55,2 x 75,9 cm
lower right : D·TENIERS·f
New York City, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, inv./cat.nr. 64.65.5

Abraham Teniers
Guard Room with a black servant and a still life of weaponry, second half 17th century
copper, oil paint 49 x 68 cm
Madrid (Spain), Museo Nacional del Prado, inv./cat.nr. P01784

John Zoffany
Portrait of Sir Lawrence Dundas (c. 1710–81) with his grandson Lawrence (1766–1839), 1769-1770
canvas, oil paint 101,6 x 127 cm
Aske Hall (Richmond, Yorkshire), private collection Marquis of Zetland


1 According to the Dundas sale catalogue (see also the next note: several De Neufvilles lived in Amsterdam in the 18th century). Robbert’s sale was in 1736 (Lugt 460); no Teniers is mentioned in the catalogue. The collection of Jan Isaac de Neufville (1706–72) was sold on 6 Aug. 1783 (Lugt 3609); there two pictures by Teniers are mentioned (a pair on copper), with a different subject: nos 76 and 77 show two interiors with singing- and card-playing farmers. However, according to Plomp (2001, p. 291) this collection was divided among the heirs of Jan Isaac. Another sale for which the name of Neufville was mentioned (a.o.), 24 ff Jan. 1763 (Lugt 1261), included a picture by Teniers with cupids on a beach.

2 GPID (4 Jan. 2014); Lot 33: ‘Teniers – A similar Subject [as lot 32: ‘A Corps du Garde, a Man entering with a Cloak, the Fore Ground enriched with a Variety of Armour, Colours, Drums, Arms, &c. in the Back Ground are six Figures regaling round a Fire, with the same Advantages as the preceding Lot (These Pictures were formerly in the Possession of the De Nevilles of Amsterdam.)] – 2' 4" h × 1' 9" w.’ No support is mentioned, but Smith (see note 4 below) says that these two pictures were on copper. The description fits on the one hand the Chicago picture (Related works, no. 1: a man/boy with a cloak), and on the other hand DPG54 (the group around the fire in the dark on the right).

3 An Armoury, with armour, drums, kettle-drums, and other accessories, hanging and lying about; a boy taking down a sword and a belt; which, with a cuirass and a handsome helmet displayed on a stand; a door open in the distance, through which a soldier is seen, as if just armed, and going up stairs, form the subjects of this pleasing picture.’

4 No. 355: ‘A Corps de Garde. The fore-ground is occupied with a variety of armour, colours, drums, and other military implements; the principal figure is a man entering, with a cloak on his arm. 1 ft. 9 in. by 2 ft. 4 in. - Cop. [Copper] Collection of Sir L. Dundas. Bart. 1794 52 gs.’ No. 356: ‘The Companion. A similar subject. 1 ft. 9 in by 2 ft. 4 in. - Cop. [Copper] Worth 29 gs…’ Smith clearly inverted the dimensions (not h × w but w × h); but it is a problem that the pictures are described as on copper, and that in both cases it is a boy, not a man, who enters the room. The boy in DPG54 doesn't have a cloak on his arm, but a sword and a sash; however the ‘six Figures regaling round a Fire’ (see note 2 above) do fit DPG54.

5 ‘This is a good picture of the kind. Teniers has painted the same class of subject twenty times at least, varying the composition.’

6 ‘Teniers has often repeated this subject with some few alterations. It is a good picture, but not noticed or numbered in Smith’s Catal: Rais:’

7 RKD, no. 290132: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/290132 (June 20, 2018); Jonker & Bergvelt 2016, p. 247, fig. 2, under DPG54; Klinge & Lüdke 2005, pp. 171–3, no. 40. Zoffany’s Dundas painting (Related works, no. 7) is discussed here as well.

8 https://www.museodelprado.es/en/the-collection/online-gallery/on-line-gallery/obra/the-guard/ (July 12, 2020); Díaz Padrón 1975, i, p. 404, ii, fig. 271.

9 RKD, no. 290066: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/290066 (June 20, 2018); see also http://hdl.handle.net/10934/RM0001.COLLECT.5565 (June 9, 2018).

10 Gritsay & Babina 2008, pp. 360–61, no. 435 (N. Babina); Klinge 1991, pp. 90–92, no. 25.

11 Shawe-Taylor & Scott 2007, pp. 180–81, no. 46; White 2007, pp. 320–21, no. 97; Klinge & Lüdke 2005, p. 172 (fig. 40b), under no. 40 (Related works, no. 1).

12 RKD, no. 290142: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/290142 (June 20, 2018); see also https://images.metmuseum.org/CRDImages/ep/original/DT200197.jpg; (July 12, 2020); Klinge & Lüdke 2005, pp. 170–71, no. 39.

13 Klinge 1991, pp. 78–81, no. 21 (also considering the picture with the same subject in the Wallace Collection, P210, fig. 21a); Mayer-Meintschel & Walther 1987, p. 310, no. 1077.

14 RKD, no. 8283: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/8283 (May 30, 2018); Buijs & Van Berge-Gerbaud 1991, no. 43.

15 Klinge 1991, p. 100, under no. 28 (fig. 28a) .

16 Ingamells 1992, pp. 370–71, no. P210; Rosen 2010, p. 148 (fig. 125).

17 https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/david-teniers-the-younger-christ-crowned-with-thorns (June 26, 2018); Klinge 1991, pp. 82–3, no. 22.

18 RKD, no. 63935: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/63935 (June 13, 2018); see also https://www.museodelprado.es/coleccion/galeria-on-line/galeria-on-line/obra/un-cuerpo-de-guardia-1/ (July 12, 2020); Díaz Padrón 1996, ii, pp. 1340–41, no. 1784; Díaz Padrón 1975, i, p. 419, ii, fig. 286 (as copy after David Teniers II).

19 http://www.artandarchitecture.org.uk/images/gallery/f92bf171.html (May 20, 2020); High 1972, no. 13 (fig.).

20 RKD, no. 290067: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/290067 (June 20, 2018); Jonker & Bergvelt 2016, p. 247, fig. 3, under DPG54; Retford 2011, pp. 106 (fig. 97), 250–51, no. 71; Jackson-Stops 1985, pp, 356–7, no. 281 (F. Russell).

21 For Dutch kortegaardes see Rosen 2010 and Borger 1996.

22 Rosen 2010, p. 149.

23 See for Teniers’s depiction of armour in his paintings Grancsay 1946.

24 Klinge 1991, p. 82, no. 22.

25 Klinge & Lüdke 2005, p. 172 (M. Klinge).

26 For Dundas see Retford 2011, pp. 251–2, no. 71.

27 Smith 1829–42, iii (1831), p. 355–6.

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