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David Teniers the Younger, Two Men playing Cards in the Kitchen of an Inn

Key facts
Full title Two Men playing Cards in the Kitchen of an Inn
Artist David Teniers the Younger
Artist dates 1610 - 1690
Date made probably 1635-40
Medium and support Oil on oak
Dimensions 55.5 × 76.5 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Salting Bequest, 1910
Inventory number NG2600
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
Two Men playing Cards in the Kitchen of an Inn
David Teniers the Younger

Two bearded old men sit at a small table playing cards. What little light there is focuses on the white cap of one and the grey hair of the other, as well as their white collars, and reveals them to be better dressed than some other patrons of the inn. In the dingy back room, a young woman sits by an open fire making pancakes for a group of jostling peasants.

Teniers has painted the faces of the card players and their companions in a far less cartoon-like manner than is usual for him. The texture of their skin and their facial expressions are far more realistic than those of the men around the pancake maker, where Teniers has used his customary grotesque and exaggerated style. Pictures of ‘merry-making peasants’ – as they were known in Teniers’s time – were popular with well-to-do buyers, who would use them as a moral lesson but would also find them amusing.

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