• Smokers in a Tavern
  • Smokers in a Tavern
  • Smokers in a Tavern - 1
  • Smokers in a Tavern - 2

Smokers in a Tavern

18th c.
Object type
36,0 x 51,3 cm
Acquisition date
The Palace on the Isle - Portrait Room, ground floor
Marks and inscriptions
inscribed D. TENIERS. Fe. bottom right
Place of Origin
Antwerpia (Belgium)
The Royal Łazienki
Museum number
ŁKr 923
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The painting was most probably purchased for the Stanisław August collection as an original by Teniers—which is how it is recorded in the first catalogue drawn up in 1783. …

The Łazienki Smokers in a Tavern in fact has no connection with any of the three depictions of tavern interiors by Teniers in the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister in Dresden … .

At first glance, the painting is close to Teniers’ manner (in the subject, composition, motifs), although it is obviously not the work of Teniers nor of his studio. The handling and the rendition of forms is skilful, but the painterly technique—the paint is applied very thinly … —does not allow such attribution. The painting lacks the characteristics of the master and artists associated with his studio—texture and lightness of brushstroke. …

Teniers’ paintings were very popular among art lovers even up to the end of the 19th century. Copies of his works or compositions such as the Łazienki picture—which were a compilation of motifs typical of Teniers’ manner, were painted by so-called Tenierskens (imitators of the painter) already in the lifetime of the master and throughout the entire 18th century. In the painting in question, which is a skilful pastiche of Teniers’ inn scenes, apart from technical details, we can find stylistic ones, which betray its later provenance (e.g. the physiognomy of the smoker in the red cap or the figure and face of his bare-headed companion). [See D. Juszczak, H. Małachowicz, The Stanisław August Collection of Paintings at the Royal Łazienki. Catalogue, Royal Łazienki Museum, Warsaw 2016, no. 102, pp. 377–378.]

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