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David Teniers the Younger, Autumn

Key facts
Full title Autumn
Artist David Teniers the Younger
Artist dates 1610 - 1690
Series The Four Seasons
Date made about 1644
Medium and support Oil on copper
Dimensions 22.1 × 16.4 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Bought, 1871
Inventory number NG859
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
David Teniers the Younger

A wine drinker – a stout fellow with a handsome moustache – represents Autumn in a series of paintings by David Teniers that gives each season a human form. A white sash cradles a comfortable belly, and stretched over it is a wine-coloured jacket. His fat neck disappears into the collar of his jacket and his cap is awry.

In the background, a man raises a hammer to fasten down the lid of a barrel of wine. A second, in a pink coat, attends to a barrel that has spilled grapes on to the ground. But Autumn stands with his sturdy legs apart, mouth open as if carousing, eyes perhaps a little bleary. He holds a flagon in one hand and raises a glass with a fancy stem in the other, seemingly happily ignorant of the grey clouds piling up behind him.

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The Four Seasons


This series of four small paintings is an allegory of the seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter have been given human forms that embody the essence of each. Spring is a gardener carrying a tree to plant in a formal garden; Summer is a peasant tying up a sheaf of corn; Autumn is a drinker who raises a glass of wine; and Winter is an old man wearing a fur cap and mantle, warming himself near a brazier.

Strongly influenced early in his career by the Dutch artist Adriaen Brouwer, Teniers became the most famous painter of peasant life of his day, rivalling Brouwer’s rowdy, raunchy tavern scenes full of larger-than-life characters.