Teniers, David

(Antwerp 1610 - 1690 Brussels)

A Smoker and a Drinker

Pen on Parchment
12.5 x 8 cm
Signed: DT

€ 45.000,--
A Smoker and a Drinker


David Teniers was the greatest and certainly the most productive genre artist of the seventeenth century in the Southern Netherlands. This pair of two exquisitely drawn tronies by his hand are early works and still strongly indebted to Adriaen Brouwer. Both drawings combine a high finish with a spirited immediacy. The degree of detail and their signatures duly indicate that these drawings are not studies but were meant as works of art in their own right.

Their irresistible charm makes them a coveted treasure for the indiscriminate collector. Indeed, the drawings boast an impeccable provenance as having been in the collection of John Spencer, scion of one of Britain’s most celebrated aristocratic dynasties, at Althorp. Charles Sackville Bale is another well-known collector who amassed a wide- ranging collection. Finally, John Postle Heseltine was an artist, a great collector of drawings, and a trustee of the National Gallery, London, in which role he advised the latter institution on the purchases of Dutch and Flemish paintings.

David Teniers the Younger was the son of the painter and art dealer David Teniers the Elder and Dymphna de Wilde. He initially trained in his father’s studio and they collaborated on paintings. The older Teniers mainly executed landscapes with religious or mythological scenes, showing the influence of Adam Elsheimer.

Teniers the Younger entered the Antwerp Guild of St Luke in 1632/33, specialising in low-life interior genre pieces and landscapes enlivened with peasants. From the outset his pictures were greatly in demand. Owing to his enormous output he soon became one of the most recognized painters in Flanders and in the process rapidly attained a fortune. Teniers’s social status is indicated by his marriage in 1637 to Anna Brueghel, daughter of Jan Brueghel the Elder with Rubens acting as a witness. In 1645/46 David Teniers was dean of the Antwerp guild. He soon attracted the attention of the governor general, Archduke Leopold Wilhelm, who gave him commissions in 1647. In 1651 he even entered his service, moving to his court in Brussels. At the same time he was appointed director of the Archduke’s impressive collection of paintings. In May 1656, Teniers’s first wife died and in the same year Leopold Wilhelm left for Vienna. The artist married in October of that year with Isabella de Fren and continued to work for the Brussels court, now serving Don Juan of Austria (1656-59) and various other noble patrons. In 1664, Teniers became the driving force behind the foundation of the Antwerp Academy. Teniers died a wealthy man and one of the most esteemed masters of his age.

1 His mark (Lugt 1530) on each of both drawings, lower right and lower left respectively.
2 Copy FARL, New York.
3 Copy RKD, The Hague.

Please contact Mr. Sander Bijl for more information