(b. ca. 1605, Oudenaerde, d. 1638, Antwerpen)
Smoking Menc. 1637
Oil on wood, 46 x 36,5 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
The peasant genre became prevalent in 17th-century Dutch painting. One of its earliest exponents was Brouwer, who in 1623-24 moved from Flanders to Haarlem, one of many immigrants drawn by the economic growth of the Dutch cities. He took up the Netherlandish tradition of depicting scenes from the life of common people that dates back to Pieter Bruegel the Elder and Hieronymous Bosch.