This painting of a man wearing a jaunty, feathered cap and holding up a glass of beer, a refill jug in his other hand, has historically been called ‘The Toper’. This was a popular term for a drinker or a drunkard, and a relatively common subject in Dutch and Flemish painting. However, it is possible that the figure is in fact a personification of Autumn, deriving from a series of four paintings of the seasons by the Flemish artist David Teniers the Younger (also in the National Gallery’s collection). Teniers' Autumn is a drinker who raises a glass of wine.
This picture has previously been attributed to Teniers, who was the most famous seventeenth-century painter of peasant life, but its lesser quality suggests that it is the work of one of his many followers.
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