|Collection||Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum|
|Artist|| Attributed to after Rombouts, Theodoor (Flemish painter and printmaker, 1597-1637)
Previously attributed to Hals, Dirck (Dutch painter, 1591-1656)
Previously attributed to Rombouts, Theodoor (Flemish painter and printmaker, 1597-1637)
|Date Earliest||probably about 1620|
|Date Latest||possibly about 1637|
|Description||This work is rather problematic to attribute or to date. Some details are quite convincingly seventeenth-century, especially the light hitting the female lute-player in a very Caravaggesque manner; similar alluring musicians appear in the works of the Utrecht Caravaggists, such as Gerrit van Honthorst and Henrick Terbrugghen. Yet the overall appearance seems rather contrived, almost a pastiche: the joint pose of the seated man and the woman on the far left is particularly awkward. Expert analysis is needed to check the green-blue colours that have the appearance of Prussian blue, thus suggesting a late date. There also appear to be bronze flecks in the paint. It is doubtful whether such a merry company would have found much favour in the nineteenth century, but the possibility of this being a deliberate forgery cannot be ruled out.|
|Current Accession Number||LEAMG:A389.1953|
|Subject||interior; still life; figure; animal (dog)|
|Measurements||42 x 61 cm (estimate)|
|Material||oil on panel|
|Acquisition Details||Bequeathed by Captain Mark Field 1953.|
This interior scene shows a 'merry company' with the usual overtones of drinking and lewd behaviour. The seated man on the far left is possibly a soldier waving both his plumed hat and his tall glass in the air. He appears to be the main guest at this feast laid out before him: the table is laden with costly vessels and food, including a pie and a plate of fruit, in the manner of a seventeenth-century still-life complete with a knife protruding from the table's edge. A gilt wine cooler can just be observed on the floor in the bottom right-hand corner. The woman by the man's side is a prostitute, as indicated not only by her decolletage but also by the familiary gesture of her right arm around his torso. Also scantily clad are the standing woman pouring more wine behind the table and the lute player at the far end, who is accompanied by a violinist, possibly a street musician.
The setting is a brothel, with the seated older woman on the far left being the procuress or madam who is doing her accounts. It is a scene of 'wine, women and song', but without a clear moral: the two paintings on the far wall may be seascapes, but one risks over-interpretation by drawing comparisons with the fickleness and dangers of the sea. A rather incongruous element is the young boy dressed in red who is restraining an exuberant greyhound on a leash in the central foreground. Another figure, possibly a servant, can be observed in the distance through the arched doorway on the far right.
|Rights Owner||Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum (Warwick District Council)|