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David Teniers the Younger, A Cottage by a River with a Distant View of a Castle

Key facts
Full title A Cottage by a River with a Distant View of a Castle
Artist David Teniers the Younger
Artist dates 1610 - 1690
Date made about 1650
Medium and support Oil on oak
Dimensions 48.9 × 66.7 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Bought, 1871
Inventory number NG861
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
A Cottage by a River with a Distant View of a Castle
David Teniers the Younger

While many of Teniers’ paintings show an invented landscape, this view perhaps shows a castle in the distance that may one day be identified. Judging by the new shoots on the trees between the cottage and the river, this is a spring scene. But Teniers was never content with showing a pleasant view and peasants at work and, as ever, gives us interaction between interesting and comical characters.

The maid, working hard in her cheerful red dress, brightens the scene. She turns to look at the old man, who glances back at her – seemingly just a passing greeting. But then we see the shadowy figure in the doorway of the cottage. An older woman leans to look out at the maid, her expression inscrutable, leaving us to interpret the story Teniers painted – perhaps one with the innuendo for which he was famous.

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