Teniers, the son of the painter David Teniers the Elder, was born in Antwerp
in 1610. His father was his first and principal teacher in painting. While
David Teniers the Elder had been unsuccessful and was even put into debtors’
prison, Teniers the Younger became known all over Europe.
In the early 1630s Teniers the Younger became close with Brouwer,
who was of great influence on him. At that period he worked in Antwerp,
where, in 1632, be became member of St. Lukas Guild, and, in 1645, was
elected its deacon. In 1637, he married a daughter of “Velvet
Brueghel”, Ruben’s friend.
The marriage appeared to be a successful financial enterprise: the dowry
was serious, and besides it brought Teniers into the circle of acquaintances
of the great master.
In 1651, the Teniers moved to Brussels, where he had been appointed a court
painter and the director of the art gallery of the Spanish governor-general,
Archduke Leopold-Wilhelm. He was a founding member of the Antwerp Academy
of Art (1663). Very productive master, he left more than 2000 works and
had great success with Flemish aristocracy. He followed fashion and whims
of his clients. He painted everything: genre pictures, still lifes, animals,
scenes of hunt, landscapes, portraits, religious scenes and allegorical
subjects. One of his early works Members
of Antwerp Town Council and Masters of the Armaments Guild
is a rare example of group portrait in Flemish art.
His multiple pictures of scenes of popular Flemish life, painted in attractive
shades of blue, red, cream and grey, with light effects and transparent
shadows, are much influenced by Brouwer. Twelfth
Night (The King Drinks). Kitchen
Scene. Peasants Dancing outside
an Inn. etc.
Of particular note are his Art Gallery of Leopold-Wilhelm pictures,
which precisely documented the famous works from archduke’s collection.
Teniers also made small-scale copies of 246 pictures from this collection,
a “photographic” record, which helped to retrace the fate of some masterpieces.
Teniers’ works were very popular during the 18th century and all the Royal
houses of Europe raced to but them. One of the best collections is in Hermitage.
David Teniers the Younger died in Brussels in 1690.
Painting of Europe. XIII-XX centuries. Encyclopedic Dictionary.
Moscow. Iskusstvo. 1999.