1610 Antwerp - 1690 Brussels
The Guitar. A young lady playing the guitar with children blowing soap bubbles. Oil on wood. 23 x 19.5cm. Monogrammed lower centre: DT (lig.). Framed.
This painting served as a model for the engraving by De Launay le Jeune from 1790 (1749
-1814): "LA GUITARE. De la Galerie de S.A.S. Monseigneur Le Duc d'Orléans. - ÉCOLE
FLAMANDE. - II.e TABLEAU DE DAVID TENIERS surnommé LE JEUNE".
- Dubois de Saint-Gelais, Description des tableaux du Palais Royal avec la vie des
peintres à la tête de leurs ouvrages dédié à Monseigneur Le Duc d'Orléans, Paris 1727,
1737 ( 2nd edition), p.115;
- La Galerie du Duc d'Orléans au Palais Royal, Paris 1808, Vol. II, LA GUITARE, II.e
TABLEAU DE DAVID TENIERS;
- F. B. Descamps: La vie des peintres flamands, allemands et hollandois, avec des
Portraits. Paris 1754, Vol.II, p. 163;
- M. Wilson: The Orléans Gallery now exhibiting at the Great Room late the Royal Academy.
No 125 Pall Mall, April 1793, no. 5;
- W. Buchanan: Memoirs of Painting with a Chronological History of the Importation of
Pictures by the Great Masters into England since the French Revolution. Vol. I, London
1824, p. 188;
- J. Smith: Catalogue Raisonné of the Most Eminent Dutch, Flemish and French Painters.
London, 1831, Vol. III., p. 349, no. 336;
- G.F. Waagen: Kunstwerke und Künstler in England. Berlin 1837, Vol.I, p. 519, no. 2;
- G.F. Waagen: Treasures of Art in Great Britain. Vol. II, London 1854, p. 502, Teniers,
David, no. 2;
- C. Stryienski: La Galerie du Régent, Philippe, Duc d'Orléans. Paris 1913, p. 191, no.
512 "La Guitariste";
- M. Klinge: "Chardin le Teniers Francais." Genrebilder von David Teniers d.J. in Pariser
Sammlungen 1700-1750. In: Exhibition catalogue, Jean Siméon Chardin, Karlsruhe 1999, p.
60, ill. 3 engraving by de Launay le Jeune: LA GUITARE;
- C. White: The later Flemish Pictures in the collection of Her Majesty The Queen. London
2007, p. 323 mentioned in comparison to cat. no. 98.
- Purchased by Philippe, Duc d'Orléans (1674-1723 ), the regent of Louis XV.; - Remaining
in the ducal collection in the Palais Royal, Paris, until Philippe Egalité (1747-1793
executed during the revolution). The painting is included in the inventories of 1724, 1752
- 1792 purchased by Thomas More Slade, Esq. en bloc with the Flemish and Dutch paintings
of the Orléans Collection for a consortium and brought to England, where this important
collection was sold in London for several years. In the catalogue of M. Wilson for the
first sales exhibition in London 1793, No 5;
- Collection Philippe Panné, Esq., auction London, Christie's, 29 March 1819 to "Peacock";
- Collection of the late Dame Florence Emily Fermor-Hesketh, London, Christie's, 6 March
1925, no. 148 to the art dealer "Blairman";
- From the possession of Mrs. W. Reynell auctioned London, Christie's, 9 June 1939, no.
109 to "Mrs. Corrigan";
- Mrs. David Armstrong-Taylor, San Francisco, Ca.;
- in the second half of the 1950s Newhouse Galleries, New York;
- 1961 Julius Böhler, Munich;
- since then privately owned in Hamburg.
Born into an Antwerp family of painters in the Scheldt city in 1610, the young Teniers receives his education, as was customary at the time, in the workshop of the father of the same name, David Teniers the Elder (1582 - 1649), a history painter of the Rubens period. In the year of office 1632/33 David Teniers the Younger is accepted as an independent master in the Antwerp Guild of Saint Luke. Since then he signs and dates many of his paintings. His artistic conception and painting style, which is completely different from his father's style, is now clearly recognisable. In addition, the young Teniers has turned to a different circle of themes from the very beginning, the so-called genre painting, which connects him much stronger with Adriaen Brouwer, Cornelis and Herman Saftleven or various members of the Brueghel family.
In the creative confrontation with the works of very different artists, among others P.P. Rubens, but above all through the intensive, graphic study of nature, land and people surrounding Antwerp, their characters and behaviours he succeeds in renewing the Flemish genre painting, which leads to a climax in the mid-17th century. His true-to-life depictions range from everyday scenes in dusky barns and kitchens over players and smokers in the inn up to large village celebrations with farmer weddings and fairground depictions. They tell of play and pleasure in the sunny Flemish landscape, mostly with a laughing eye, but now and then also with fine allusions of an exhorting message, as it is present in the sense of an allegory in the picture of the "Gitarre spielenden, jungen Dame mit Kindern beim Seifenblasen". As early as 1637 with the marriage to Anna Brueghel, the wealthy daughter of Jan Brueghel the Elder, whose guardian is P.P. Rubens, Teniers' social position and connection with painters and clients of this city was strengthened. In the mid-1640s, When in 1645/46 the painter holds the honorary office of Dean of the Antwerp Guild of Saint Luke, Teniers reaches an extraordinary artistic climax.
He receives great recognition from his first important patron, the outstanding art collector Antonius Triest (1577 - 1657), bishop in Ghent, who buys several paintings and commissions some more. The encounter with Antonius Triest was to be of decisive importance for Teniers' life. In his collection in Ghent in 1647, the new Spanish governor of the southern Netherlands, Archduke Leopold Wilhelm, a passionate art lover like Antonius Triest, saw pictures of David Teniers the Younger for the first time. He is so touched by and enthusiastic about the works, which he thinks are "exceedingly beautiful and elegant", that he immediately obliges the painter, commisions paintings for himself and his brother, Emperor Ferdinand III, and names Teniers his court painter in Brussels. With the relocation of residence and studio, presumably still in the autumn of 1650, from Antwerp to Brussels, where the painter lives and works until his death in 1690, Teniers' great creative phase in the residence city begins, and also entrusted with completely new tasks at court, serving Archduke Leopold Wilhelm, who succeeds in purchasing the unique collection of Italian paintings of the first Duke of Hamilton (1606 - 1649).
The painting of the "guitar playing young lady with children playing with soap bubbles" was created during David Teniers the Younger's mature creative period, in the second half of the 1640s in Antwerp, around 1646/1648, when the painter meets his most important patrons, the two extremely passionate collectors and lovers of the arts, Bishop Antonius Triest of Ghent and Archduke Leopold Wilhelm. The picture in the format of small half figures shows a young lady sitting at a table who supports an arm at the table to play the guitar, lets the music sound and looks calmly at the observer. Her appearance is one of elegant beauty, she wears a turquoise dress with white inlays under a purple shimmering fur-trimmed cape, on top of the lightly curled hair a black beret with a large, white peacock feather, which, like the noble clothes and the noble jewellery of a pearl necklace, brooch and earrings, point to a young lady of higher standing. Next to her two children are engaged in playing with soap bubbles. While the boy wants to shape the soap foam into a bubble with a straw from a small bowl held in his hand, the girl watches him attentively. Two soap bubbles float directly above the two in the dim brown of the background. Teniers chooses for his depiction this exact moment before the soap bubbles burst. What looks like light children's play, however carries a serious interpretation for the entire depiction of the painting in itself, the reference to the course of all earthly things, including human life, HOMO BULLA EST. A soap bubble arises and floats only for a moment, and quickly it fades away again. The depiction of the enchanting painting thus becomes a parable for the rapid transience of all human existence, as well as of beauty, fame and wealth. The guitar play of the elegant lady might also refer to the thougt of Vanitas, as it's the nature of music to fade away with little audibility. A thematically and stilistically close painint by David Tenier the Younger (ill. 1) can be found in the royal collection in the Buckingham Palace in London, which was purchased by King George IV. Here as well as a half figure painting a woman playing the guitar in elegant clothing, but older and with a hat on her head. This time, next to her are two boys with soap bubbles, one of them holding out his hat to catch the newly emerging ones. The guitar player is accentuated by a curtain with a tassel in the dark of the background, where again two soap bubbles float over the heads of the children. A comparison of both pictures shows the fine range of variation of the painter in the area of this theme. Both paintings were presumably created not far from each other in terms of time. The notably provenance of the painting of the "young lady playing guitar" speaks for the high esteem in which the work by David Teniers is held not only in its time, but most of all in the 18th century, when the most beautiful pictures were to be found in the aristocratic collections of France. "LA GUITARE", how the painting is called on an copy engraving from 1790 (ill. 2), is part of the Collection der Ducs d' Orléans in the Palais Royal in Paris for almost for a whole century, until it came to England with this collection for sale in the turmoils of the revolution in 1792. In the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century in English private collection, then in America vor a decade, the painting is present in an art auction for the first time in 60 years.
We thank Margret Klinge, Düsseldorf, for her kind support.
Voraussichtliche Versandkosten für dieses Lot:
Deutschland: 32,00 Euro zzgl. 5,11 Euro MwSt
EU: 60,00 Euro zzgl. 9,58 Euro MwSt
Weltweit: 90,00 Euro zzgl. 14,37 Euro MwSt