Lot 115
  • 115

DAVID TENIERS THE YOUNGER | A flute player in profile

20,000 - 30,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • David Teniers II
  • A flute player in profile
  • oil on oak panel
  • 17.5 x 14 cm


A.G. de Berghe, Brussels;
His sale, Brussels, Fievez, 7–8 June 1906, lot 127;
With Dr Benedict & Co, Berlin, 1929;
A.W. Sjöstrand, Stockholm, 1929–33;
By whom sold, Berlin, Rudolph Lepke, 21–22 March 1933, lot 26;
J.C.H. Heldring, Oosterbeek, 1960;
Dr A.M. van Doorenstein/ P.A. Klett-van Doesburgh/ L.M. Gaemers van Amme, 1968;
Anonymous sale, Hoensbroek, J.O. Walstijn, 24 August 1970, lot 14, when acquired.


Oelde, Rathaus, Niederländische Originalgemälde der Zeitgenossen Rembrandt Harmesz. van Rijn, 30 November – 17 December 1983;
Liesborn, Museum Abtei Liesborn, Genrebilder, 22 September 1996 – 2 March 1997;
Paderborn, Städtische Galerie in der Reithalle Schloß Neuhaus, Genre – Niederländische Malerei des 17. Jahrhunderts, 16 January – 22 March 1998;
Mönchengladbach, Museum Schloß Rheydt, 19 April – 21 June 1998; Oelde, Rathaus, 1 October – 1 November 1998; Dessau, Anhaltische Gemäldegalerie, 1 June – 4 August 2002; and Gera, Kunstsammlung Gera/Orangerie, 14 September 2003 – 11 January 2004, Von Kavalieren, Dirnen und Quacksalbern;
Rotterdam, Kunsthal, At Home in the Golden Age, 9 February – 18 May 2008, no. 33;
Höxter, Museum Schloß Corvey, Von Liebeslust und Lebenslast der inszenierte Alltag. Niederländische Genremalerei des 17. Jahrhunderts trifft auf das Figurenbild der Gegenwart, 10 May – 23 August 2009;
Nuremberg, Auf AEG, Gute Kunst? Wollen!, 19 September – 17 October 2015.


H.-J. Raupp (ed.), Niederländische Malerei des. 17. Jahrhunderts der SØR Rusche-Sammlung, vol. 2, Genre, Münster/Hamburg/London 1996, pp. 222–25, cat. no. 54, reproduced in colour;
W. Pijbes, M. Aarts, M.J. Bok et al, At Home in the Golden Age, exhib. cat., Zwolle 2008, p. 53, cat. no. 33, reproduced in colour.


The small panel is cradled, flat and stable. The paint surface is slightly dirty, and the varnish relatively clear and even. There is a tiny area of frame abrasion upper left, and retouching visible to what was probably also another area of frame abrasion just to the right of this. There appear to have been some vertical surface splits, none of which seem to extend the entire height of the panel: two run from the centre of the upper and lower margins to the centre of the panel, and a further one a quarter of the way from the left margin running up from the lower margin to the centre. Fine lines of retouching are visible along these. Inspection under ultraviolet light is somewhat impeded by the varnish which fluoresces opaquely, but it confirms the aforementioned vertical lines of retouching, as well as a small area of retouching in the background above the flute player's hands. There are also some small spots of retouching scattered in the protagonist's hair and hat, as well as what appears to be a small spot in the nose of the man on the right. None of these impede the legibility of the painting, which is ready to hang.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.

Catalogue Note

Flautists are quite rare in Teniers' paintings – in his many scenes of peasant merrymaking, the music is almost always provided by a bagpipe or a stringed instrument. However, figures of flautists do appear, for instance in the background of The Prodigal Son in the Minneapolis Institute of Art (inv. no. 45.8)1. They also appear within the context of the Five Senses as a personification of Hearing, for example in the canvas in the State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg (inv. no. 432),2 and in more typical genre scenes of peasants, such as the canvas depicting a duet between lovers, also at the Hermitage (inv. no. 431).3 A painting at the Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe (inv. no. 198),4 is rather comparable in composition to the present work – although the figure is most likely holding a walking stick, rather than a musical instrument. ENGRAVED
Quirijn Boel (1620–1668), in reverse (Hollstein 34).

1 S. Forrest, European Paintings in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis 1971, p. 151, cat. no. 79, reproduced.
2 N. Gritsay and N. Babina, State Hermitage Museum Catalogue: Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Flemish Paintings, New Haven and London 2008, p. 359, cat. no. 431, reproduced.
3 Gritsay and Babina 2008, pp. 358–59, cat. no. 431, reproduced.
4 RKD no. 280966.