The Archers

 
Artist
Creation date
Materials
oil on canvas
Dimensions
22-1/8 x 33-1/16 in.
Credit line
Gift of Col. and Mrs. A. W. S. Herrington
Accession number
62.248
Collection
Not Currently On View

Teniers was perhaps the most important Flemish painter of low-life genre scenes during the 17th century. An enormously prolific artist, Teniers is best known for his numerous depictions of peasant life. 

In the three works exhibited here, rustic country folk gather in the courtyard of an inn to eat, drink and play games, or to pause by the roadside and talk. Such images stress the conviviality of hard-won leisure and are decidedly more sympathetic in their portrayal of the peasantry than those of Teniers's Dutch contemporary, Jan Miense Molenaer.

From the artist to his patron, Archduke Leopold Wilhelm of Austria [1614-1662], Brussels; sent by the Archduke to Vienna, in 1651 and after 1781 exhibited at the Belvedere Palace;{1} transferred to the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, when it opened in 1891;{2}traded to the heirs of the Clam-Gallas family, possibly via an agent named Prince Alain Rohan [1893-1976] in January 1952.{3} A.W.S.[Arthur William Sidney] Herrington [1891-1970], Indianapolis;{4}given to the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 1962.

{1}See Eduard Ritter von Engerth, Kunsthistorische Sammlungen des allerhöchsten Kaiserhauses, Vienna, 1882-1886, vol. 2, no. 1298.
{2}The painting's location at the publication of Thieme-Becker's Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler was the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, see entry on Teniers.
{3}Information courtesy Gerlinde Gruber, curator at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, in January and September 2008. Gruber states that this kind of exchange was common during this period, and further speculates that it might have been auctioned by the Clam-Gallas family at the Dorotheum in Vienna. Additional correspondence with Johannes Weiss in the archive of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in December 2009, indicates the date of this transaction. All correspondence in Provenance File (62.248).
{4}See the catalogue, The Collection of Mr. and Mrs. A.W.S. Herrington of Indianapolis, Indiana, Krannert Art Museum, 1964, no. 10 (ill.) to which the Indianapolis Museum of Art loaned the painting.
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