PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION
In the 1660s, following his acquisition of his country retreat Drij Toren at Perk, Teniers painted a few pictures of rural idylls, probably also inspired by classical bucolic poetry such as Horace's Beatus ille and Virgil's Bucolics and Georgics, which were widely available in translation in the Netherlands by the mid-17th Century. In the present picture he has chosen an italianate setting with appropriate buildings and distant ruins, deliberately evoking an Arcadian landscape. He did this too in a pair of smaller paintings on panel composed along similar lines, in an upright format, in a private collection, and in a single picture on copper, dated 1668, which like the present work includes a similar reclining shepherd smoking a pipe1. The present work may also date from the 1660s, but the large canvas support suggests that it may equally have been painted in the following decade, and its composition and upright format suggests that it was probably painted as one of a pair.
1 See M. Klinge, David Teniers the Younger, exhibition catalogue, Antwerp 1991, pp. 244-7, nos. 84a & b, and p. 22, reproduced p. 23, fig. 15.
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