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Title A Tavern Interior
Collection Victoria and Albert Museum
Artist Manner of Teniers, David, II (Flemish painter, 1610-1690)
Date Earliest about 1800
Date Latest 1869

A tavern interior, an elderly couple sit drinking at a table in the foreground while peasants play cards beyond. The painting is executed in a somewhat drier and 'flatter' style than that of Teniers himself and appears to be a nineteenth century pastiche of several of Teniers' favourite motifs from the 1640s-50s. The composition is particularly close (in reverse) to Two men playing cards in the kitchen of an inn ca.1635-1640 (National Gallery London, NG 2600). The bearded man in the foreground of resembles a man in the National Gallery picture in dress, hairstyle, pose and physiognomy and both pictures include similar props such as the broom, the wall niche with a glass bottle, earthenware jugs and a similar bench and barrel-table.

David Teniers II (1610-1690) was apprenticed with his father, David Teniers I, with whom he also collaborated. Teniers's genre pieces were greatly prized by Antwerp dealers and made him famous. By 1647 Teniers was working for Archduke Leopold William, Governor of the southern Netherlands. Teniers's early work is similar to that of Adriaen Brouwer, who settled in Antwerp in 1631. During the 1640s and 1650s, Teniers began to draw and paint open-air peasant fairs, generally set in front of an inn and often including a group of nobles who watch the revels with amusement.

Current Accession Number CAI.91
Subject interior; figure; trade and industry
Measurements 36.8 x 55.2 cm
Material oil on panel (hardwood {oak})
Acquisition Details Bequeathed by Constantine Alexander Ionides 1900.
Provenance Peter Norton sale, Christie's 23 January 1869, lot 1743, (£22); bought by Constantine Alexander Ionides for £100, before November 1881.
Publications Long, B. S., Catalogue of the Constantine Alexander Ionides collection. Vol. 1, Paintings in oil, tempera and water-colour, together with certain of the drawings, London, 1925, p. 59; Kauffmann, C.M., Catalogue of Foreign Paintings, I. Before 1800, London, Victoria and Albert Museum, 1973, pp. 268-270, cat. no. 337.
Notes The collection formed by Constantine Ionides includes works of a wide variety of schools, periods and artists. His collection includes Old Masters, 17th century works, contemporary British works and French 19th century works. Constantine formed friendships with artists of the day, especially Legros, who, having spent 17 years in Britain, became a naturalised British citizen. Constantine proved a stable and generous buyer of Legros' work, while Legros, in turn, became an advisor in the matters of art to the attentive Constantine. Under the influence of Legros Constantine developed a keen interest in French 19th century paintings purchasing works by Delacroix, Degas, Millet and Rousseau. Constantine's plans concerning his collection conformed to a more ‘public-welfare' vein of thought than his father or brother. He decided to donate his collection to the Victoria & Albert Museum, instead of privately distributing it or disposing of it in a sales room. His will states: 'All my pictures both in oil and water colors and crayon or colored chalks (but subject as to my family portraits to the interest herein before given to my said Wife) and all my etchings drawings and engravings to the South Kensington Museum for the benefit of the nation to be kept there as one separate collection to be called "The Constantine Alexander Ionides Collection" and not distributed over the Museum or lent for exhibition. And I desire that the said Etchings Drawings and Engravings shall be framed and glazed by and at the expense of the authorities of the Museum so that Students there can easily see them.' The collection bequeathed to the museum in 1901 comprises 1138 pictures, drawing and prints, to which a further 20 items were added on the death of his widow in 1920. The works are listed in the V&A catalogue of the Constantine Alexander Ionides collection.
Rights Owner © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Author Jennifer Sliwka



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