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  • Portrait of the Members of the Guild ''Oude Voetboog'' ("Old Arbalest") in Antwerp

    Artist:
    Teniers, David II. 1610-1690
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    135x183 cm

Teniers, David II. 1610-1690

Portrait of the Members of the Guild ''Oude Voetboog'' ("Old Arbalest") in Antwerp

Flanders, 1643

The State Hermitage can boast one of the world's finest collections of works by the famous Flemish painter David Teniers the Younger. Over 40 paintings from the time when the artist was at his peak demonstrate the main facets of his oeuvre and reveal the distinctive nature of his style. An important distinguishing feature of what is unarguably a masterpiece by David Teniers the Younger is that the artist placed the group portrait in an urban landscape, three-quarters of which is occupied by architecture. This dominance of architectural forms sets the Hermitage painting apart from the group portraits, similar in subject-matter but earlier chronologically, by Hals (Group Portrait of the Civic Guard of St Hadrian, 1633, Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem) and Rembrandt (The Night Watch, 1642, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam), in which priority was given exclusively to tasks of portraiture. The action of the Hermitage painting takes place on the Grote Markt, Antwerp's main square. On the left we can see the town-hall (1561/65, architect: Cornelis Floris) and on the far right, the Huys van Spanien. It was this building, with the façade decorated with a red cloth bearing coats of arms, that housed the city's oldest shooting guild, the Oude Voetboog or Old Crossbow, established in the 15th century. Its head was as a rule the burgomaster of Antwerp. The guild is parading on the square. Its members are shown in dark clothing with red sash belts. Three elderly figures, probably the senior officers, wear the sashes over their shoulders. In order to break the monotony of black patches and to infuse the painting with colour, some members of the guild are depicted in yellow outfits (including the drummer and the standard-bearer). The Hermitage painting was Teniers's first major commission and was intended to adorn the hall in which social gatherings took place in the guild's house.

Title:

Portrait of the Members of the Guild ''Oude Voetboog'' ("Old Arbalest") in Antwerp

Place:

Date:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

135x183 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1814; formerly in the collection of Josephine de Beauharnais in the Castle of Malmaison near Paris

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-572

Category:

Collection:

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