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Core Record

Title A Man and a Woman at Wine
Alternative Title An Old Couple; Een Binnevertrek; Femme ŕ la cruche et homme garnissant sa pipe
Original Translation Vrouw met Kruikje, Man met Pijp
Collection Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum
Artist Metsu, Gabriel (Dutch painter, 1629-1667)
Date Earliest possibly about 1645
Date Latest possibly about 1650
Signed yes
Description Gabriel Metsu is better known for his paintings of the Dutch wealthy classes, capturing the graceful silks of the ladies' dresses and the detailed textures of refined interiors. Probably one of his early works, this painting on the contrary depicts more humble figures inside an unassuming tavern. Already showing great sensitivity in his artistry, the image is intriguing for the subtlety of expression and ambiguity of the figures' gazes. Whereas the narrative of most genre paintings of this period was made clear through gestures or props, this one leaves the viewer to ponder what this man and woman are thinking.
Current Accession Number 1899:1.37
Former Accession Number No. 38; No. 7; No. 801
Inscription front uc 'GMETZU' (GM in monogram)
Subject figure; everyday life
Measurements 33.0 x 29.2 cm cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Given by Charles, 3rd Baron de Ferrieres, 1898.
Provenance Johan van der Marck, Leiden, by 1755; purchased by Fouquet, Van der Marck sale, De Winter and Iver, Amsterdam, 25 August, 1773, lot 177 as Een Binnevertrek, 355 florins; possibly in the collection of the Prince de Conti, 1779; M. Étienne Le Roy, Brussels, 1842; Baron de Ferrieres by 1868
Principal Exhibitions National Exhibition of Works of Art, Leeds, 1868, cat. no. 573; Dutch Old Masters, Manchester City and Art Gallery, 1929, cat. no. 40; Dutch Art, 1450-1900, Royal Academy, London, 1929, cat. no. 221; Art Treasures of the Midlands, Birmingham City Museum and Art Gallery, 1934, cat. no. 137; Dutch Pictures, 1450-1750, Royal Academy, London, 1952-1953, cat. no. 140; Dutch Masterpieces, Graves Art Gallery, Sheffield, 1956, cat. no. 29; Dutch Genre Painting, National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth, 1958, National Museum of Wales, Cardiff, 1958, Glyn Vivian Art Gallery, 1958, cat. no. 33; Primitives to Picasso, Royal Academy, London, 1962, cat. no. 132; Gabriel Metsu, Museum De Lakenhall, Leiden, 1966-1966, cat. no. 28 as Vrouw met Kruikje, Man met Pijp; The Cabinet Picture: Dutch and Flemish Masters of the Seventeenth Century, Richard Green Galleries, London, 1999, cat. p. 28.
Publications 'Municipal Art Galleries: Pictures in the De Ferrieres Gallery', Cheltenham Examiner, 1 November 1899; Bénézit, E., Dictionnaire de peintres, sculpteurs, dessinateurs et graveurs, Paris, 1999, vol. 9, p. 537, as Femme ŕ la cruche et homme garnissant sa pipe; Hofstede de Groot, C., Catalogue Raisonné of the Most Eminent Dutch Painters of the Seventeenth Century, 1908, vol. I, cat. no. 175b; Robinson, F.W., Gabriel Metsu (1629-1667), A Study of his Place in Dutch Genre Painting of the Golden Age, New York, 1974, pp. 23, 111, fig. 19; possibly Smith, J., A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch, Flemish and French Painters, London, 1833, vol. 4, cat. no. 39, and Supplement, 1842, p. 519, cat. no. 10; Thieme, H. and Becker, U., Allgemeines Lexikon der Bildenden Künstler, Leipzig, 1930, vol. 24, p. 440; Wright, C., Old Master Paintings in Britain, London, 1976, p. 134; Wright, C., 'Collecting in Victorian England: Dutch Seventeenth-Century Paintings in Provincial Museums', The Connoisseur, May 1979, pp. 27-31, as An Old Couple, ill. p. 30, fig. 4; Wright, C., Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museums, Baron de Ferrieres Collection: Catalogue of Foreign Paintings from the De Ferrieres Collection and Other Sources, Cheltenham, 1988, p. 31, ill. pp. 31, viii; Wright, C., The Cabinet Picture: Dutch and Flemish Masters of the Seventeenth Century, London, 1999, pp. 28, 195, ill. p. 29.
Notes

A copy was sold in an anonymous sale, Bonham's, London, 8 December 1994, as school of Jan Steen.

The painting was engraved by Abraham Delfos, dated 1755 as belonging to Johan van der Marck.

Robinson 1974 dates the painting to the late 1640s as the same jug appears in Young Woman Spooling, dated 1645 (Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg). The jug also appears in The Old Drinker (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam).

Listed in the Catalogue of the Pictures in the De Ferrieres Gallery, 1900, cat. no. 38; in Herdman, D. W., Catalogue of Paintings, Etchings and Sculptures in the Permanent Collection, 1931, cat. no. 7, ill. pl. 1; and in Andrews, G., Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum Service: Fine Art Collection: Checklist Catalogue, 1979, cat. no. 801.

Rights Owner Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museums
Author Dr Anne L. Cowe
 

 

 

 

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