Oil painting on tin in an ornate gilt frame of an original work by Flemish artist David Teniers the Younger (1610-1690), titled 'A Man holding a Glass and an Old Woman lighting a Pipe', circa. 1645, now held in the National Gallery in London.

Depictions of domestic settings and peasant life, leisure, recreation and social gatherings, often in taverns, are a regular and reoccuring theme in Dutch genre painting from the sixteenth century through until the late nineteenth century. Such scenes are familiar in the work of Dutch artist Pieter Breugal in the sixteenth century, while the taverns and the often rowdy behaviour they encouraged, was a frequent subject of Teniers.

The rapid rise in popularity of displaying art in the home produced a thriving art market in the Netherlands in the first half of the seventeenth century, producing the so-called Golden Age of Dutch Art. Affordable works could be readily obtained by the general public for art dealers in most cities, often in the form of prints and later in the form of oil paintings on tin, such as this example.

A series of events at the end of the seventeenth century, among them being the Third Anglo-Dutch War of 1672-74, effectively marked the end of this 'Golden Age', though domestic and tavern scenes would continue as a popular subject for Dutch artists throughout the nineteenth century. Often reproducing known works by earlier Dutch Masters, such works were almost certainly amongst the type of art works being displayed in Australia during the 1880 Melbourne International Exhibition.

The inventory of John Twycross' estate records two works by Teniers, referring not to original works by facsimile copies, under the shared title of 'Dutch village Festivals'. The two paintings were subsequently listed as 'Dutch Merrymaking' in the auction sale of Twycross' painting and statuary collection in October 1889, but presumably failed to find a buyer, and were returned to the family.

They were donated to Museum Victoria in 2009 as part of the Twycross collection.

Physical Description

Oil painting on tin showing a tavern scene. A man sits at the end of a table with a glass of ale upheld in his left arm, and woman sits at the table filling a cutty (pipe) with tobacco from a bowl, another man looks over her shoulders. Another pair of drinkers in the background. Framed in an ornate, gilded gesso frame. No signature.

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