Interior of a Guardroom

Accession Number
1965/1.185

Title
Interior of a Guardroom

Artist(s)
David Teniers the Younger

Object Creation Date
1635-1645

Medium & Support
oil on panel

Dimensions
29 13/16 x 39 3/8 x 2 1/2 in. (75.57 x 100.01 x 6.35 cm);29 13/16 x 39 3/8 x 2 1/2 in. (75.57 x 100.01 x 6.35 cm)

Subject matter
This painting depicts with striking realism an imagined scene of civic guards at leisure. The realistic impression made by the painting depends in part upon the painstaking rendition of objects and details throughout the room: the ceramic jugs, a wooden table, a piece of crumpled paper, the dull glint of a lantern near the ceiling, and the tour-de-force still-life of military equipment all contribute to the painting's seeming veracity. The fact that the men are engaged in everyday activities of smoking, drinking, gambling and conversing contributes to the impression that we are looking upon an actual scene that Teniers simply transcribed with his brush.

Physical Description
Groups of men gamble, smoke, and drink in a dark guardroom. In the left foreground a seated man wearing a red sash lights his white clay pipe, while his companion pauses his smoking to listen to a man standing next to him. The red of the smoker's sash is repeated in the flag and fabrics strewn about in the right foreground, which form part of a still-life of weapons, musical instruments, and glinting armor heaped together against the wall. Between these brightly lit foreground vignettes the scene recedes into the darkened interior where a group of five men gather about a table to gamble.

Primary Object Classification
Painting

Primary Object Type
panel painting

Collection Area
Western

Rights
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Keywords
armors (object groupings)
drums (membranophones)
genre (visual works)
interior spaces (spaces by location)
smoking (activity)
weapons

& Author Notes

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