Joost Cornelisz Droochsloot or school of

Circa 1650
The Netherlands

W 27 1/4" (frame 40") × H 21 1/4" (frame 33 1/2")

Stock # Marh2618


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Joost Cornelisz Droochsloot or school of, oil on oak panel. The intriguing painting at present depicts a Northern European Genre scene, where we observe a group of people at a sort of party in what’s known to be a tavern. The genre painting was largely enjoyed during the seventeenth century, especially in the Netherlands, where moments of the every day were appreciated by extraordinary artists, thus creating scenes such as this. This painting has been attributed to the Dutch master, Joost Cornelisz Droochsloot (Utrecht 1586 - 1666) [or school of]. His early works reflect the influence of artists such as Pieter Brueghel the Elder, he was known for his scenes of crowds that usually depicted a hidden moral message, and yet his strong interest in conveying individualised figures proved his observational powers with a humanistic approach. Richly diverse in both style and subject, there is a clear play on optical perspective in the current painting, partly by the use of light, as it falls through the open door to the left side of the picture and moves across the scene, highlighting the faces, figures and furniture. We can also see this attention to detail in the centre of the foreground, where the light hits the still life scene on the table, and particularly, the drinking vessel just below. Furthermore, the dynamic display is accentuated by the grouping of figures, who at first glance, we observe as a whole but with closer inspection, there are multiple scenes and stories within. To the right, a lady helps a young boy with food at the fire, to the far left, a gentleman enters the door whilst in conversation, and to the centre, we see a merry party where the group enjoy a large feast with drinks. What is fascinating about this scene, is that each person holds their own individualised and expressive quality and yet the display is harmonised in its composition. This may be partly due to the use of colours too, with vivid blues, greens and yellows amongst Droochsloots reddish-brown palette, seen as a tool almost, to help balance the composition. In conclusion, the elaborate array of gestures and poses increase the overall dramatised effect, brought together in a lively and witty commentary contained within this remarkable work.

Provenance: Private Dutch collection