BROUWER, Adriaen
(b. ca. 1605, Oudenaerde, d. 1638, Antwerpen)

The Operation

c. 1631
Oil on panel, 31,4 x 39,6 cm
Alte Pinakothek, Munich

Adriaen Brouwer represents the link between Dutch and Flemish genre painting. He lived in Antwerp and Amsterdam and seems to have been a pupil of Frans Hals, although Rubens' influence is also evident in his work. His paintings introduce us to the world of Dutch genre painting, which enjoyed great success in the 17th century.

Brouwer painted almost exclusively subjects of taverns and drinkers, which he used to point out the negative effects of alcohol. His paintings show the squalid side of tavern life, filled with grotesque figures drinking and smoking to excess. It would seem that he himself inhabited this milieu, living a life of indulgence which eventually led him to prison. He died of the plague aged thirty-two.