Oil painting on tin of a tavern scene, depicting two men and a woman with two other figures near the fireplace in the background, framed in an ornate gilt frame. The painting is unsigned, but is most likely of Dutch origins.

Depictions of domestic settings and rural 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 the seventeenth century Dutch artist, David Teniers.

The rapid rise in popularity of displaying art in the home produced a thriving art market in the Netherlands in 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.

In composition the work's subject shares similarities with paintings by fellow Dutch artist, Adriaen van Ostade (1610-1685), such as his 'Three Peasants at an Inn' (1647). However, is could possibly be the second of two works recorded as being in John Twycross' estate, attributed as being after original paintings by David Teniers, 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. The other work is a copy of Teniers 'A Man holding a Glass and an Old Woman lighting a Pipe', circa. 1645, now held in the National Gallery in London.

Physical Description

Oil painting on tin showing a tavern scene. Three men sit around a table draped with a cloth. On reads a paper, one holds two long stemmed pipes in his hand, the other a long stemmed pipe in his mouth and a flagon in his hand. Framed in an ornate, gilded gesso frame. No signature.

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