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After The Brunswick Monogrammist, Entertainers in a Brothel

Key facts
Full title Entertainers in a Brothel
Artist After The Brunswick Monogrammist
Artist dates active about 1535 - 1555
Date made about 1555
Medium and support Oil on oak
Dimensions 45.7 × 60.9 cm
Inscription summary Inscribed
Acquisition credit Presented by Thomas Esmond Lowinsky in memory of Lt. T.M.F.E. Lowinsky, 1945
Inventory number NG5577
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Entertainers in a Brothel
After The Brunswick Monogrammist

This is the interior of a brothel. On the left, three men drink with the women who work there, whose skirts are hoisted up to show their legs. On the right, we see a group of entertainers: a boy does a headstand on a stool; a small dog has perhaps already jumped through the hoop on the floor. An unkempt man with bagpipes has been accompanying the tricks. In the background, a man, flagon raised, embraces a woman, while in the top left corner a couple are closing the door of a bedroom.

Pictures of inns and brothels were increasingly in demand in the sixteenth century, and at least five brothel scenes are attributed to the Brunswick Monogrammist. He did two versions of this composition, with different details in the background. Our painting is an enlarged version of a panel in the Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht; a variant can be seen in the Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp. The original compositions were probably invented by the Brunswick Monogrammist and repeated with small variations by his followers.

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