Offered by Galerie FC Paris
Paintings and sculptures
Oil on canvas
Presented in a beautiful period frame in carved and gilded wood
Total dimensions with the frame : 85 x 104 cm. The canvas : 67 x 82 cm.
The interior is not that of an inn, but that of a beautiful Dutch patrician residence, the furniture is rather refined; table covered with an oriental carpet, chairs with arms trimmed with leather. In spite of an apparent simplicity, the decoration itself says a lot about the importance of the master of the house, windows with interior shutters, a painting on top of the door...
Nine young aristocrats, perhaps a few soldiers, have gathered for a game of cards after lunch. People are drinking and smoking, a zenithal light seems to illuminate the scene and emphasizes the elegance of the clothes. Some faces are turned towards the viewer as if for a snapshot, only the dog seems preoccupied in the hope of getting some relief...
Jacob Duck was probably born in Utrecht in 1600, the second son of Jan Jansz Duck and Maria Bool. His mother was a linen merchant in Utrecht, where Jacob spent his youth. In 1611, his parents placed him in an apprenticeship with a goldsmith.
In 1620, Duck married Rijckgen Crook, who gave him at least eight children, six of whom were girls who survived infancy.
The following year the guild records mention him as a pupil ("Leulinghem") of Joost Cornelisz Droochsloot (1586 - 1666). In the same year he is registered as an apprentice portraitist ("conterfeyt jongen"). From 1630 to 1632 he was listed as a freelance master in the guild archives, but he must have been painting for some time, because his first dated work is even older: 1628.
Duck remained a resident of Utrecht during these years, and his presence there is documented at least until 1649. In 1660, however, he is recorded as living in The Hague. A year later he returned to Utrecht. He died here on January 20 or 21, 1667, and was buried on January 28 in the monastery of St. Mary Magdalene.
Duck's work is steeped in vanity. Many of his works are scenes of guardrooms, gambling dens, and cabarets where young men gather to drink and gamble.
These images speak of war, lust, laziness, greed, which as earthly and according to the Christian tradition, sinful concerns, are loosely associated with vanity.
It was in his later production that the noisy and cluttered interiors gradually turned into quieter scenes with fewer protagonists. In doing so, Duck experimented with compositions that offered a range of new dramaturgical possibilities. He explored all of this in competition with the greatest artists who painted corps de garde scenes, such as Symon Kick (1603 - 1652) and Gerard ter Borch (1617 - 1681). The reduction in the number of characters led to a preference for smaller formats and invited the artist to zoom in on the protagonists, resulting in a more detailed description of costumes, gestures and physiognomies.
His work is often associated with the work of Pieter Codde.
Although few dated works by Duck are known, it is because of these characteristics that our painting can be placed around 1650.
Good condition. A recent cleaning has revealed a magnificent color palette hidden under multiple layers of dirty and yellowed varnish.