TENIERS, David the Younger
(b. 1610, Antwerpen, d. 1690, Bruxelles)

Village Feast

Oil on canvas, 53 x 98 cm
Rockox House, Antwerp

After the refined realism of Brouwer, genre painting reverted to a more decorative concept, in keeping with the general character of Flemish art of the period. The driving force behind this development was David Teniers the Younger, who became a leading figure in this branch of painting, thanks to his remarkable productivity and the high esteem he enjoyed. The Village Feast is one of his many paintings of village life, a recurring theme throughout his oeuvre. In scenes like this, he depicts humble peasants as the upper classes liked to see them portrayed: as simple, unthinking creatures gratefully enjoying their humble existence. But Teniers raises such scenes to a higher artistic level through his skilful composition, balanced coloration and above all the radiant light which illuminates his paintings.