David 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.
1643. Oil on canvas. 135 x 183 cm. The Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia.
c.1634-1640. Oil on canvas. 58 x 70 cm. Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain.