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Country Feast
Teniers, David
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Teniers, David

Amberes, 1610 - Bruselas, 1690

Miniatura autor

Country Feast

1647. Oil on canvas, 75 x 112 cm.

A group of local people dance to the sound of bagpipes and a hurdy-gurdy in honour of a bride, who presides at the table in the background, surrounded by what seem to be older relatives or guests. The distant background, in which a tall-spired church can be made out, is populated by a group of distinguished personages, one of whom could be Archduke Leopold Wilhelm of Austria, governor of the Spanish Netherlands on behalf of Philip IV. In the 18th century Antonio González Ruiz produced a cartoon for the Santa Bárbara Royal Tapestry Manufactory that is fancifully based on models taken from this painting. The resulting tapestry is housed in the Royal Palace in Madrid, but the cartoon is assumed to be lost. The painting shown here may possibly be the one listed as no. 100 in the 1747 inventory of the Buen Retiro palace: A painting on canvas lined with wood by the same artist, one vara and a third wide and one vara high, of different banquets and dances of bumpkins, fifteen thousand reales, indicating that it was previously in the Casas Arzobispales. The rich colour scheme is determined by a luminous steel blue and a white emphasised by vigorous red touches for the foreground, while chestnut red tones predominate in the background. The excellent, vaporous depiction of the foliage of the trees and blue of the sky dotted with pale clouds skilfully enhance the general atmosphere of rejoicing that pervades the scene. As regards popular entertainment in the rural environment, the world of country weddings is a relatively unusual subject in Teniers´ oeuvre, bearing in mind the extremely broad repertory of his paintings. Indeed, only five works on this theme are known including this one, executed in 1637, in which the seated bride is depicted without her spouse, with her back to a large piece of cloth on which the marriage crowns are hung, in keeping with tradition, while the guests enjoy themselves around the table or dancing. The brilliant Pieter Brueghel "the Elder" portrayed similar features in his famous Wedding Banquet (Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum), although with a different, much more direct, fully satirical and less decorative intent. Pieter Brueghel "the Younger", Jan Brueghel "the Elder" and David Teniers produced extremely attractive works in this genre. The aforementioned painting by Pieter Brueghel "the Elder" and another Teniers painted in 1637 allude, slightly vulgarly, to eroticism, desire, voluptuousness and the situation of the bride in this context. However in this painting, which was executed ten years later and reflects the artist´s general aesthetic development, Teniers concentrates more on highlighting the festive spirit through the joyful hustle and bustle of the ceremony without providing critical or mordant elements or interpretations. There is a very sketchy preparatory drawing for this painting (Amsterdam, J.Q. van Regteren Altena collection) which shows the initial idea of the composition with groups of people, enlivened with well paced and extraordinarily vivacious movement (Text drawn from Luna, J. J.: From Titian to Goya. Great Masters of the Museo del Prado, National Art Museum of China-Shanghai Museum, 2007, pp. 372-373).

Technical data

Inventory number
Teniers, David
Country Feast
High/Height: 75 cm.; Width: 112 cm.
Royal Collection

Bibliography +

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1972.

Díaz Padrón, Matías, Museo del Prado: catálogo de pinturas. Escuela flamenca, Museo del Prado; Patrimonio Nacional de Museos, Madrid, 1975.

Dreher Faith, Paulette, The vision of country life in the paintings of David Teniers II, Columbia Univ. Microfilms Intl., 1977, pp. 24,37,67,115,119,122,129 fg2.

Grandes Estilos de la Pintura. Vol. Iv. Pintura Barroca 1, IV, Sedmay Ediciones, Madrid, 1979, pp. 238.

Robert-Jones, Ph, Bruegel. Una Dynastie de Peintres, [s.n], Bruselas, 1980, pp. nº212.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1985, pp. 667.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: inventario general de pinturas, I, Museo del Prado, Espasa Calpe, Madrid, 1990.

Buendía, José Rogelio, El Prado. Colecciones de Pintura, Lunwerg Editores, Madrid, 1994, pp. 442.

Díaz Padrón, Matías, El siglo de Rubens en el Museo del Prado: catálogo razonado, II, Prensa Ibérica, Madrid, 1995, pp. 1352.

Ayala Mallory, Nina, La pintura flamenca del siglo XVII, Alianza editorial, Madrid, 1995, pp. 275/ lám.249.

De Tiziano a Goya. Obras maestras del Museo del Prado., Tokio - Osaka, 2006.

El vino en El Prado, Fundación para la cultura del vino, 2007.

Other inventories +

Inv. Real Museo, 1857. Núm. 1270.
David Teniers./1270. Fiesta campestre./ Delante de casas rusticas, dos mesas, baile de paisanos, tertulia de fumadores, grupo de paisanos hablando./ El país contiene arboles, y a lo lejos población, fuera de la cual se notan varios personages que sin duda vienen a ver la fiesta./Alto 2 pies, 8 pulg; ancho 4 pies.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1872-1907. Núm. 1719.

Exhibitions +

From Titian to Goya. Great Masters from the Museo del Prado
13.09.2007 - 12.11.2007

From Titian to Goya. Great Masters from the Museo del Prado
29.06.2007 - 24.08.2007

De Tiziano a Goya. Obras maestras del Museo del Prado
14.07.2006 - 15.10.2006

De Tiziano a Goya. Obras maestras del Museo del Prado
24.03.2006 - 02.07.2006

Location +

Room 016B (On Display)

Update date: 07-02-2018 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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