46
46
Adriaen Brouwer
Oudenaarde (?) 1605/6 - 1638 Antwerp
AN ELDERLY MAN SLEEPING IN AN INN WITH AN AMOROUS COUPLE IN THE BACKGROUND
Estimate
100,000150,000
LOT SOLD. 360,250 EUR
JUMP TO LOT
46
Adriaen Brouwer
Oudenaarde (?) 1605/6 - 1638 Antwerp
AN ELDERLY MAN SLEEPING IN AN INN WITH AN AMOROUS COUPLE IN THE BACKGROUND
Estimate
100,000150,000
LOT SOLD. 360,250 EUR
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Old Master Paintings

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Amsterdam

Adriaen Brouwer
Oudenaarde (?) 1605/6 - 1638 Antwerp
OUDENAARDE (?) 1605/6 - 1638 ANTWERP
AN ELDERLY MAN SLEEPING IN AN INN WITH AN AMOROUS COUPLE IN THE BACKGROUND

Provenance

Count de Bergeyck (according to a label on the reverse).

Catalogue Note

Known for his rough and restless behaviour, Arnold Houbraken illustrates Adriaen Brouwer's character with a poem;

'Zijn schilderkonst bestont in snakery en boetzen,
Die hy zoo geestig wist met zyn penceel te toetzen,
Dat niemant zyns gelyk, in deze tydt en is.
Dies 't werk komt over een met zyn gesteltenis.'1

'His works existed of puns and lush,
Which he funnily made with his brush,
That none was his equal, at this time and age,
His works do coincide with his character.'

Interestingly, Houbraken mentioned that none was his equal in his time and age. Born in Oudenaarde at the beginning of the 17th Century, Brouwer moved at a very young age to Haarlem. Here he became a student of Frans Hals (1581/85-1666), together with the painter Adriaen van Ostade (1610-1685). In 1626 he is recorded in Amsterdam, as a witness in a case regarding paintings. The same year he is also recorded as a member of the Haarlem Rederijkerkamer 'In liefde boven al'. Five years later he paid his fee for entering the Antwerp painter's guild; the first evidence that he had by then returned to the Southern Netherlands. It is clear that he was regarded as a talented painter early on, and his work was much in demand.  He also exerted a powerful influence on contemporary painters in Antwerp: foremost among them David Teniers the Younger (1610-1690), whose peasant scenes are unimaginable without Brouwer's influence; and also followers such as David Rijckaert (1612-1661) and Joos van Craesbeeck (1605/06-1660), with whom his works are often confused.  Brouwer's influence spread far beyond the confines of genre painting however. He was clearly very much admired by Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640), who was strongly influenced by Brouwer in his late landscapes, and who owned no less than sixteen paintings by Brouwer at the time of his death. Brouwer himself died at the young age of 32 or 33, predeceasing Rubens, and leaving behind a relatively small oeuvre of paintings.  Because of his many imitators, and because he rarely signed or dated his pictures, they can, despite his fame, be hard to attribute. 

This hitherto unknown painting by Brouwer was only recently discovered and reveals interesting aspects of the master's later mature work when working in Antwerp. The composition is quite serene; no quarrelling farmers, vomit eating pigs and angry inn-keepers. The protagonist has fallen asleep before a furnace, after drinking from his Raeren earthenware beer jug while a peasant in the background tries to seduce a lady while being observed by a youngster from a window above. This composition clearly relates to the beautiful Innkeeper in Munich.2 That panel of nearly the same dimensions is generally regarded as a late work, and reveals the same broad brushwork to the background walls, the fine highlights to the objects at the foreground and clear distinction of two scenes within the composition (see fig. 1). Joos van Craesbeeck  became a close acquaintance of Brouwer and followed many of his compositions. An old man near a furnace relates clearly to both the Munich and the present work.3

Although not much is known of the provenance, the reverse reveals a label inscribed with Comte de Bergeyck, a Belgian noble family descending from Sir Peter Paul Rubens.

We are grateful to Dr. K. Renger for confirming the attribution on the basis of first hand inspection, and to Dr. K. de Klippel for confirming the deattribution to Joos van Craesbeeck on the basis of first hand inspection.

1 See A. Houbraken, De Groote Schouburgh der Nederlandse Konstschilders en Schilderessen, Maastricht 1943, (reprint), vol. 1, p. 258.
The full poem reads:
Zijn schilderkonst bestont in snakery en boetzen,
Die hy zoo geestig wist met zyn penceel te toetzen,
Dat niemant zyns gelyk, in deze tydt en is.
Dies 't werk komt over een met zyn gesteltenis.
Hier staat een lompe boer van dronkenschap te spouwen,
En 't wyf met eenen stok gereed zyn huit te touwen,
Daar zietm' een bootsgezel met 't pintje in zyne vuist,
En hier een fielenrot dat met de kaarten tuist.
Daar zuipt een gulzigaart den pot uit onder 't pypen,
Of wil de huiswaardin kwanzuis na 't voorschot grypen.
Daar vecht men om 't gelag met bezem bank en stoel,
Daar zietmen boers gevry, en diergelyk gewoel.

2. Munich, Alte Pinakothek, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, inv. no. 2014.
3. See K. de Clippel, Joos van Craesbeeck (1605/06-ca.1660), Turnhout 2006, vol. II, p. 469, no. 26, present whereabouts unknown.

Old Master Paintings

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Amsterdam