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A Castle and its Proprietors

David Teniers the Youngerc.1650?

Dulwich Picture Gallery

Dulwich Picture Gallery
London, United Kingdom

Teniers was a member of a dynasty of painters, and many of his pictures used to be inaccurately attributed to his father. Teniers the younger was taught painting by his father, and worked in Antwerp before moving to Brussels, where he became curator of the great picture collection belonging to Archduke Leopold William, Regent of the Netherlands. Much admired in the eighteenth century, his paintings were bought in large numbers for traditional collections such as that at Dulwich.

In this painting an aristocratic couple survey a country house; the artist changed his mind about the positions of these figures, especially their heads. The brownish-yellow tone of the landscape and the freely painted sky are characteristic of Teniers.

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  • Title: A Castle and its Proprietors
  • Date: c.1650?
  • Physical Dimensions: w1692 x h1122 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil
  • null: Desenfans owned a Castle with Teniers and Family in 1786, but it was 42 x 48 including the frame. An apparently exact replica, but only 56 x 82.5 cm., was sold in Stockholm, Bukowski, 15-17, May 1946, lot 126, signed DTF.
  • Work Nationality: Flemish
  • Support: Canvas
  • Provenance: ?Paris, Sollier sale, 1781 (bt in); Charles-Louis Merle de Beauchamp, comte de Merle; his sale, London, Christie's, 30 Apr. 1785, lot 57 ('A landscape with a view of Teniers's, Chateux in the distance, the figures touched with amazing spirit of his true silvery and harmonious tone of colouring'. Bt Simpson, 190 gn.; John Purling (d.c. 1801); his sale, London, White, 16 Feb. 1801, lot 106 (ÔA Landscape with Figures, in which the Chateau and Portrait of the Artist are introduced, 4'8"" x 6'6"" [from the Collection of M. Le Comte de Merle]'). Bt. Bourgeois for £178.10; ?London, Noel Desenfans and/or Sir Francis Bourgeois, 1801-1807: ?1804 Insurance List, no. 114; London, Sir Francis Bourgeois, 1807-1811; Bourgeois Bequest, 1811.
  • Inscriptions: DTF
  • Further Information: In the 1640s–60s Teniers painted many views of country houses and castles; clearly there was a market for them in seventeenth century Flanders. A Castle and its Proprietors(DPG95) is typical: it shows a castle near a river, with figures in the foreground. Some of these views depict identifiable buildings, while others appear to be imaginary. Several are of the artist’s own château, Drij Toren, purchased in 1662, such as that at Boughton House, Kettering. It has not proved possible to identify the castle shown here; though perhaps imaginary, it no doubt had some basis in reality and probably derived from drawings. The figures inA Castle and its Proprietorshave traditionally been said to be Teniers and his wife, but this seems fanciful. In fact the man in the red cloak, the elderly workman and the boy are stock figures and appear in different poses in a number of Teniers’s works.
  • Artist: Teniers, David the younger
  • Acquisition Method: Bourgeois, Sir Peter Francis (Bequest, 1811)

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