In an imaginary park surrounding a capital villa, elegantly attired young people celebrate by making music, feasting, drinking and flirting. At first glance this frivolous party would appear to be devoted exclusively to sensual pleasures, but Dirck Hals has cleverly added a moralistic note, in the form of the little monkey in the foreground. A chained monkey symbolized Man who allows himself to be fettered by his sins and is unable to free himself. This is a warning to the viewer not to allow the celebrations to degenerate into debauchery. Dirck Hals was a brother of Frans Hals, his junior by ten years. His work bears a resemblance to that of Willem Buytewech.

Purchased in 1899.


  • Title: The Fête Champêtre
  • Creator: Dirck Hals
  • Date Created: 1627
  • Style: Northern Netherlands School
  • Provenance: Collection of Mr Straeter, Rheine, early 19th century; ...; from Mrs. P. Driessen-Hooreman, Delft, fl. 6,000, to the museum, 1899
  • Physical Dimensions: w1357 x h776 mm
  • Original Title: De buitenpartij
  • Type: Painting
  • External Link: See more on the Rijksmuseum website
  • Medium: oil on panel

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