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Core Record

Title Tavern Scene
Alternative Title An Exterior, with Conversational Figures Drinking and Smoking
Collection Cooper Gallery, Barnsley
Artist Horemans, Jan Josef, II (Flemish painter, 1714-after 1790)
Previously attributed to Dutch School
Date Earliest probably about 1740
Date Latest 1790
Description From a family of Flemish painters, the artist was the son of Jan Josef Horemans I. His nickname of Le Clair was earned because his palette was lighter than his father's. He qualified as a master of the Guild of St Luke in Antwerp in 1767 and was dean of the Guild twice. His works combine traditional genre painting of the seventeenth-century with that of the eighteenth-century conversation piece. Most typical are his interior scenes but he also painted a number of scenes of vendors selling their wares. The sharply delineated figures in this work are characterised in the same way as those found in other works by the artist.
Current Accession Number CP/TR132
Subject animal (dog); figure; townscape; everyday life; buildings and gardens
Measurements 57.3 x 48.2 cm cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Bequeathed by Samuel Joseph Cooper to the Trustees of the Cooper Art Gallery 1913.
Provenance Samuel Joshua Cooper of Mount Vernon, near Barnsley by 22 June 1912.
Principal Exhibitions Temple Newsam House, Leeds, March 1950; Exhibition of Permanent Collection for the Re-opening, 3rd May, 1957, Cooper Art Gallery, Barnsley, 1957, cat. no. 56.
Publications Catalogue of the Cooper Art Gallery, Barnsley, 1915, cat. no. 144, as An Exterior, with conversational figures drinking and smoking, by Dutch School; Catalogue of the Cooper Art Gallery, Barnsley, [about 1935], cat. no. 144, as An Exterior, with conversational figures drinking and smoking by Dutch School; Catalogue of the Cooper Art Gallery Permanent Collection, Barnsley, [about 1957], cat. no. 132; Wright, about, Old Master Paintings in Britain: An Index of Continental Old Master Paintings executed before c.1800 in Public Collections in the United Kingdom, London, 1976, pp. 93, 231.

Samuel Joshua Cooper (1830-1913) was born in Barnsley, Yorkshire. He was the son of a prosperous colliery owner and linen manufacturer. On the death of his father he inherited a considerable fortune, leading to his early retirement. He lived primarily at Mount Vernon, near Barnsley but also owned Cowick Hall, near Snaith, where part of his collection was also kept. Between 1862 and 1912 he formed the collection now at the Cooper Art Gallery, Barnsley. Several nineteenth-century French and Italian paintings were acquired by Cooper during his frequent visits to Europe. He bought these either from dealers or from the annual official exhibitions and salons held in these countries. Several works are also known to have come from a local dealer, Edmund Bates in Leeds. Although it is known that he acquired the majority of nineteenth-century works between 1862 and 1891, as these are detailed and recorded in a notebook written by him dated 1891, it is not known when he purchased the old master paintings and, therefore, he may have either inherited them from his father or acquired them after the notebook was written.

The original bequest comprised 275 paintings and drawings, over half of which were continental. There are a number of Dutch old master paintings of a high quality, but it is the French works that predominate in the collection. These are in the main works by academic Salon painters but also include a number of examples by Diaz and Isabey, painters from the Barbizon School. On his death Cooper bequeathed the paintings to a board of trustees with the provision that they establish a public art gallery in Barnsley.

There are a number of other paintings by Horemans in the same style and of similar subject matter as this work. The closest to the Cooper painting is Ladies buying Mussels in a Back Street, nd (Christie's, London, 16 November 1973, lot 28). Similarly, this depicts a group of people gathered outside a group of buildings. The detailing on the roofs, windows and brickwork is identical to that in the Cooper painting.

This painting does not appear in Cooper's notebook labelled 'Pictures at Mount Vernon', dated 20 April 1891, Sheffield Archives, Ref 386/B 2/2. It is in an inventory and valuation dated 22 June 1912 that was compiled for Cooper by Pawsey & Payne, Sheffield Archives, Ref 386/B 2/3 (1-2) as follows: '144. Dutch School An Exterior with Conversational figures drinking and smoking 22 x 18 []10. 10.-'

Rights Owner Published by kind permission of the Cooper Gallery Trustees
Author Dr Madeleine Korn



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