HONTHORST, Gerrit van
(b. 1590, Utrecht, d. 1656, Utrecht)

The Happy Violinist with a Glass of Wine

c. 1624
Oil on canvas, 83 x 68 cm
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

This image has great expressive force, basically achieved through the characterization of the face with its unrefined features, and in the spontaneous gesture which suggests the effects of the wine. The subject of the drinker as well as the artist's approach to this theme suggests the influence not so much of Caravaggio as of one of his followers, in particular Manfredi, who was an imitator of Caravaggio and seems to have invented the subjects of drinkers, taverns and soldiers.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 5 minutes):
Otto Nicolai: Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor (The Merry Wives of Windsor), drinking song