TENIERS, David the Younger
(b. 1610, Antwerpen, d. 1690, Bruxelles)
Figures Gambling in a Tavern1670
Oil on canvas, 50 x 62 cm
Teniers depicts a theatrical moment, in which he deliberately involves the spectator. The man to the left, seated in a chair next to what are presumably his mason's tools, is showing his cards confidently to his opponent, but in fact he is looking directly and calmly at the viewer, tilting his cards in our direction, as if to involve us in his imminently awaited triumph. His opponent is in a much more agitated state, as his half-raised, twisted torso and the hand starting to pull cards from his hand, as well as his animated facial expression, indicate. Three companions look on with amusement, and in the background of the L-shaped space so often favoured by Teniers from the 1640s onwards, a woman is cooking pancakes.
The painting is signed lower right: D. Teniers F and dated on the drawing on the wall: 1670.