- Reference number
- Teniers, David (Flemish)
- The Gleeful Soldier
- 47 cm x 36 cm
- Género y sociedad
- On display
- Colección Real (colección marqués de la Ensenada, Madrid; adquisición de Isabel Farnesio, h. 1759; Palacio de Buenavista, Madrid, 1746, nº 173; Palacio Real Nuevo, Madrid, gabinete colgado de verde, 1772, nº 173; Palacio Real Nuevo, Madrid, retrete, 1794, s.n.; Palacio Real, Madrid, retrete a la inglesa, 1814-1818, s.n.).
A male figure smokes and drinks, directing an expressive glace at the viewer. Behind him, a companion is inside a tavern filled with vats, basins and barrels. The protagonist has been identified as a soldier on leave after a campaign, but this is also a representation of everyday life in Flanders.
Illustrations of people enjoying the pleasures of alcohol or tobacco were quite customary in the work of David Teniers “the Younger,” in keeping with those made by other Flemish artists of that time, such as Craesbeeck (Ca. 1606-Ca. 1660). Teniers based this work on the esthetic of his teacher, Adriaen Brouwer (1605-1606-1638), using an identical sense of color, with a uniform tonality throughout the scene. The soldier's rude gesture shows the influence of some figures by Pieter Brueghel “the Elder” (Ca. 1525-1530-1569).
There are various replicas and version of this composition. The present one belonged to the Marquis of la Ensenada. Queen Isabel Farnesio acquired it from him between 1759 and 1766.