This wedding scene is an irresistible call to join in the feast unfolding before our eyes.
The celebrations take place near an inn set in the heart of a green landscape, dotted with trees with silvery and golden foliage.
According to ancestral custom, the bride is installed under a crown of orange blossoms in front of a large gray cloth stretched out.
Surrounded by her mother and her stepmother, the young woman is honored by the villagers as the queen of the day.
Her hair loose and uncovered unlike other women, she wears a small crown on her head. According to custom, this crown was made of paper, due to lack of funds.
On the table in front of her, a large dish where the guests place the coins as wedding gifts.
Generally, the young woman is not allowed to speak or eat until the arrival of the groom.
As she waits patiently, guests enjoy the celebration and have fun as they see fit, one couple dance to the sound of bagpipes, while the others drink, eat, smoke, chat and enjoy the moment.
It should be remembered that the life of the peasants in the 17th century was particularly hard, and the occasions to party extremely rare.
While everyone is celebrating, curiously only one character looks openly at the viewer, the bearded, caped-clad man standing next to the bagpiper.
To the right of the painting, a luminous opening onto the sky and the fields, from which emerges a church with its steeple, a clear sign that the religious marriage has just been celebrated. We observe different groups on the way back, and given their attitudes, we can obviously guess the degree of their drunkenness.
On the left, also, nonchalantly, a peasant relieves himself against a wooden fence.
The rich staging composed of several groups with various gestures and movements fascinates by its complexity.
The palette dominated by the gray blue greens of the landscape, with the clear sky and leafy trees, contrasts with the ochres of the beaten earth, the fence and the inn.
However, in order to brighten up the composition, the painter colors the clothes of the figures, and touches of reds, yellows and greens and blues like flowers dot the painting.
Meticulous in every detail, the painter takes particular care to illuminate and enhance with white the folds of clothes, objects, foliage.
This grotesque representation of village celebrations draws its inspiration from a long tradition of Flemish art, initiated by Peter Brueghel the Elder. David Teniers deals with the subject of the wedding several times, without it becoming his favorite subject, unlike other genre scenes.
Our painting thus derives from several similar compositions by D. Teniers such as that of the Hermitage (c. 1650, inventory ?? - 1719) and that of the Prado museum (dated 1637). Each time he represents the bride under a wreath of orange blossoms.
A colorist painter in his youth, David Teniers became more and more sober at the end of his career and turned to ocher colors from yellow to brown, until they were almost monochrome, with variations of grays and browns.
Our luminous work seduces with its rich and varied palette and its quality of execution.
Attributed to David Teniers the Younger (1610-1690)
Oil on oak panel
Dimensions: 38 cm x 67.5 cm
Elegant Flemish-style frame inlaid with tin nets.
Framed: 52.5 cm x 82.5 cm
David Teniers the Younger (Antwerp, 1610- Brussels, 1690)
During his long and brilliant career, David Téniers the Younger painted a considerable number of genre scenes representing villagers, but also drinkers and gamblers giving free rein to their most reprehensible inclinations. Far from being severe, the painter's gaze on these figures is nonetheless imbued with a certain irony. Alongside this production, he delivers with just as much verve interpretations of religious episodes, such as the feast of the Prodigal Son, the temptation of Saint Anthony or the denial of Saint Peter.