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Old Woman by a Fireplace
Brekelenkam, Quiringh Gerritsz. van
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Brekelenkam, Quiringh Gerritsz. van

¿Zwammerdam?, 1622 - Leiden, 1669

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Old Woman by a Fireplace

1660 - 1664. Oil on panel.
Not on display

This painting is ascribed to the school of Teniers in the royal collections, although after entering the Prado it is listed in the catalogue as an original work by that painter. This raises the question of when the signature D. Ten. on the lower right was added. The 1873 Prado publication describes this signature as apocryphal and assigns the painting to Hendryk Martensz. Rokes, called Sorgh or Zorgh (1610/11-1670). This attribution is maintained until the 1920 edition, although as early as 1885 it is pointed out that Bredius and Schmidt- Degener consider it to be the work of Brekelenkam. This authorship is accepted by the Museum in 1933 and, during the technical study conducted for the purpose of this catalogue, it is corroborated by ultraviolet fluorescence, which reveals the original signature and part of the date beneath the apocryphal signature.

Old Woman by a Fireplace is one of the typical domestic scenes painted by Brekelenkam in the 1660s featuring elderly people engaged in a variety of tasks, seated holding a book or, as in this case, engrossed in their thoughts. As in all of them, the scene here is set in a countrystyle kitchen that is framed on one side -in this case on the left- by a large hearth and in the background by a wooden wall. The tones are based on a range of browns and greens with touches of red, orange and white, on which the light is concentrated, although there is no defined light source, either external or internal. The contrast between the powerful modelling and impasto brushwork of certain areas -the old woman`s torso and hands, household utensils and foodstuffs- and the loose, flowing handling of the woman`s skirt and the rest of the composition is worthy of notice. This treatment is characteristic of Brekelenkam after 1655, when the attention to detail and meticulous technique derived from Gerard Dou (1613-1675) and the fijnschilder (fine painters) gave way to a more sweeping, flowing style with blurred contours that is closer to Gabriël Metsu (1629-1667). This is the same handling found, for example, in Old Woman scaling Fish, signed and dated in 1660 (Los Angeles County Museum of Art), Old Woman by the Fireplace, dated in 1662 (Kunstsammlung Düsseldorf), and Two Men by the Fireside, signed and dated in 1664 (Paris, Musée du Louvre) (Posada Kubissa, T.: Pintura holandesa en el Museo Nacional del Prado. Catálogo razonado, 2009, p. 300).

Technical data

Inventory number
Brekelenkam, Quiringh Gerritsz. van
Old Woman by a Fireplace
1660 - 1664
Height: 48 cm; Width: 36 cm
Royal Collection

Bibliography +

Salas, Xavier de, Museo del Prado. Catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1972.

Valdivieso, Enrique, Pintura Holandesa del siglo XVII en españa, Universidad, Valladolid, 1973, pp. 232.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1985, pp. 86.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: inventario general de pinturas (I) La Colección Real, Museo del Prado, Espasa Calpe, Madrid, 1990.

Lasius, Angelika, Quiringh Van Brekelenkam, Davaco Publishers, Gante, 1992, pp. 115.

Aterido Fernández, Ángel; Martínez Cuesta, Juan; Pérez Preciado, José Juan, Colecciones de pinturas de Felipe V e Isabel Farnesio. Inventarios Reales, II, Fundación de Apoyo de la Historia del Arte Hispánico, Madrid, 2004, pp. 364.

Posada Kubissa, Teresa, Pintura holandesa en el Museo Nacional del Prado. Catálogo razonado, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2009, pp. 47-49.

Other inventories +

Inv. Real Museo, 1857. Núm. 1333.
D. Teniers / 1333. La vieja calentandose a la lumbre. (tabla.) / Alto 1 pie, 9 pulg; ancho 1 pie, 3 pulg, 6 lin.

Inv. Carlos III, Palacio Nuevo, 1772. Núm. 151/173.
Dos iguales la vna de vna vieja calentandose a vna chimenea y la otra [...] en tabla de la manera de Theniers de dos tericas de alto media vara escasa de ancho

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1873-1907. Núm. 1706.
1706.-(1333-M.)-Una vieja calentándose á la chi- / menea. / Alto 0,49; ancho 0,36.-T.

Museo Real de Pinturas a la muerte de Fernando VII, 1834. Núm. 366, f. 417v.
Tres cientos setenta y seis. La Vieja calentandose D. Teniers

Inv. Fernando VII, Aranjuez, 1814-1818. Núm. s.n..
dos menos cuarta de alto dos tercias de ancho [...] el segundo vna mujer en una cocina con las manos cruzadas = escuela flamenca

Inv. Testamentaría Carlos III, Aranjuez, 1794. Núm. s.n..
Dos de media vara de alto y mas de tercia de ancho en el primero un y mas de una tercia de ancho en el primero vn joven cantando con vn vaso de vino en la mano y en la otar vna pipa en el segundo vna mujer sentada arrimada a vana mesa = Teniers = 3.000

Inscriptions +

D. Ten [firma apócrifa que cubre la firma original]
Signed. Front, lower right corner

[133]3 [Inventario Colección Real]
Inscribed in orange. Front, lower left corner

Inscribed in golden colour. Stretcher, right side bar

G. O.
Inscribed with chalk. Back, central area

+6 / 173.
Inscribed in pen and black ink. Back, central area

M.N.PRADO / 02136
On metallic tablet. Stretcher, right side bar

Inscribed with chalk. Stretcher, upper crossbeam

7a No 416 / Una vieja sentada á / la chimenea / 2a Teniers.
Inscribed in golden colour. Back, central area

Brekelekam 16(?) [visible por fluorescencia con luz ultravioleta]
Signed and dated. Front, lower right corner

Exhibitions +

Holandeses en el Prado
03.12.2009 - 11.04.2010

Displayed objects +


Update date: 30-09-2022 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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