Detail from Le Fluteur (The Flutist) by Jacques-Philippe Le Bas, after a painting by David Teniers, 1746. Dayton C. Miller Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress.
after a painting by David Teniers, the younger, painter and engraver, 1610-1690
This is an interior scene with a young boy seated at the left who plays a pipe with a flared bell while an old woman, seated at a table in the center, holds a paper in her hands and gazes at the boy. An old man, plate in hand, enters the doorway at the left background. The table at the right holds a pitcher and a glass; and, a piece of crockery is either attached to the wall beneath a shelf at the upper right, or it is falling from the shelf. In Nicholas S. Lander's Web site, Recorder Iconography, the instrument is identified as "a slender flared-bell pipe (flageolet or recorder)."
This etching was included in The Pipers: An Exhibition of Engravings, Watercolors and Lithographs from the Dayton C. Miller Collection, Library of Congress, March 1977. See another example of this print by Le Bas in the Miller collection, 36/N. See also a large etching by Le Bas, after Teniers, The Temptation of St. Anthony, 76/Y.
About the Artists
Jacques-Philippe Le Bas, draughtsman, etcher, and engraver, 1707-1783
Jacques-Philippe Le Bas, a French draughtsman, etcher, and engraver, was born in Paris in 1707, and died in the same city in 1783, according to Bénézit. He was a student of Hérisset (probably Antoine Hérisset, an engraver, 1685-1769). Le Bas became an academician in 1734, and exhibited his work from 1737 to 1781. He engraved many subjects - religious, history, genre, portraits, topography, coats of arms, and landscapes.
David Teniers, the younger, painter and engraver, 1610-1690
David Teniers, the younger, was a well known 17th-century Flemish artist who was a genre painter and engraver. He was born in Antwerp in 1610 and died in Brussels in 1690. He was the eldest of four sons of David Teniers, the elder (1582-1649), a painter and engraver, with whom he first studied. Very little is known about the younger Teniers' early life. He was received as a master in the Antwerp guild of St. Luke in 1632-1633. In 1637, he married Anna Brueghel, daughter of Jan Brueghel of Velours, who brought wealth and, above all, a close friendship with Rubens, whose second wife, Hélène Fourment, was the godmother of their eldest son, David Teniers III. In 1644, David Teniers, the younger, was named dean of the guild of St. Luke. Teniers was known above all for his genre paintings, at first smokey tavern scenes in the1630s which closely resembled the work of Adriaen Brouwer (1605/06-1638). By the 1640s, he painted more open-air scenes of country life with peasants reveling at fairs, often with an inn in the background.
Archduke Leopold Wilhelm was named governor of the Low Countries in 1646 and he was a powerful protector to Teniers, who began working for the archduke in 1647. By 1651, the archduke appointed Teniers painter to the court, chamberlain, and curator of his painting gallery, which housed a magnificent collection. Teniers purchased Italian paintings from the collection of Charles I for the archduke's collection, and he painted at least eight different views of the archduke's galleries. Most importantly, Teniers produced a catalogue of the archduke's paintings which were copied by various engravers. He himself painted copies of many of the Italian paintings which were used as models for the engravers. The illustrated catalogue was published in 1660 under the title Theatrum Pictorium.
The archduke often sent the work of Teniers to other sovereigns and recommended his work to them. King Philip IV of Spain commissioned many paintings by Teniers, and Prince William II of Orange and Christina of Sweden were also great collectors of his paintings. Don Juan of Austria, the natural son of King Philip IV, succeeded Archduke Leopold Wilhelm as governor of the Low Countries from 1656 to 1659. Also an enthusiast of the work of Teniers, Don Juan confirmed all of his court positions and commissions and even became his student.
After 1650, Teniers left Antwerp for Brussels. In 1656, his wife Anna died but, in the same year, he married Isabelle de Fren, daughter of André de Fren, secretary to the Council of Brabant. In 1662, he bought from Jan-Baptist Broekoven and Hélène Fourment the chateau of Drij Toren (Three Towers), at Perk, near Vilvoorde, which he made his summer residence. In 1663, Teniers was ennobled and, in the same year he took an active part in the foundation of an art academy in Antwerp to which he was named its first director. Teniers, who died at age 80 in 1690, was a prolific painter. He produced perhaps over a thousand works, his late paintings being more pastoral and idyllic in nature. His second wife died in 1683, and the end of his life was troubled by illness and legal disputes within the family, which were not settled until after his death.
- See Nicholas S. Lander, Recorder Iconography, under David II Teniers. [back to article]
- Bénézit was a source for the life and work of Teniers but further information on Teniers, which includes a bibliography, is available in an article, "David Teniers II," by Hans Vlieghe in Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online (subscription only). [back to article]