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A Music Party before a Village
Style of Joos de Momper the Younger
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In an unidentified landscape streaked with the long shadows of evening, a variety of people go about their business. Among the figures are courting couples and a number of gardeners, both suggestive of fertility and fruitfulness. In the front right corner, three women make music. The fourth member of their party has put down his violin and twists to reach out to a woman, who bends over responsively as her male companion looks on, apparently startled. The group anticipates the eighteenth-century fêtes galantes (‘courtship parties’) made famous by the artist Jean-Antoine Watteau.

The picture has been dated to the 1640s and 1650s on account of the costumes. The landscape seems to be the work of a follower of Joos de Momper II, while the figures appear to have been painted by a different artist. The inscription seems to be a later addition in an attempt to attribute the picture to David Vinckboons (1576–1632/3).

Key facts
Artist Style of Joos de Momper the Younger
Artist dates 1564 - 1634/5
Full title A Music Party before a Village
Date made 1640-60
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 142.7 x 182.3 cm
Acquisition credit Wynn Ellis Bequest, 1876
Inventory number NG1017
Location in Gallery Not on display
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