More about David Teniers the Younger

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Don't let that baby-face illustration fool you. David Teniers the Younger could grow one sweet mustache.

With between 900 - 2000 works attributed to David the Younger (differing sources, y'all), his only possible biography is either that he was some kind of hobo art aficionado traveling the land with nay but his brushes and furled canvas in his knapsack...or that he was one of the most famous and highly lauded painters of his era. Sorry to spoil it, but it's door number two. 

By the end of his life, David had amassed a veritable fortune from his painting career. A grant of nobility was even awarded for his talents. David was most famous for his portrayals of peasant life. Many of these works were taken up in the 18th century as tapestry designs. Because nothing says elegant wall decorations for the home or business like the daily strife of the masses.

David's talents went well beyond painting. He was an accomplished art dealer throughout Europe. His art dealing was so well known that his death was presumed a hoax to increase the price of his works. Which was probably funnier every time the family heard it. David served for a spell as dean to the Antwerp artist's guild, which was basically a gold star on an artist's resume. He was also an active member of De Violieren, a local rhetorician's society meaning he could deal out phat orations with a sickeningly logical flow.

Royals all over the continent threw mad money at him for his painterly touch. His international clientele included the king of Spain, Prince William of Orange, Queen Christina of Sweden, King Charles II of England (in exile), and others. Home court advantage helped lead to his most influential partnership, with Archduke Leopold of Belgium. David acted as the archduke's court painter, art curator, and cataloger. One of the most important results of their pact is a series of paintings David the Younger created showing off the archduke's collection. David used a few of these paintings to declare his eternal bro-mance for the archduke, showing them casually strolling through the royal's collection together. #SoCute.

One of David's first big commissions was to decorate a hunting lodge belonging to King Philip IV of Spain. Peter Paul Rubens was in charge of the whole job, and personally selected David as one of the artists to help in the task. They must have gotten along well, because soon afterward Teniers the Younger took Anna Brueghel as a wife. Rubens was Anna's godfather and had overseen her care since the death of her father, Jan Brueghel the Elder. Rubens and Jan the Elder were longtime Jay-Z/Kanye level collaborators until the latter shuffled off this mortal coil.


This David Teniers was pretty much doomed to a life of painting. His father, David Teniers the Elder, was a painter, his wife, Anna Breughel was a painter, her father, Jan Breughel the Elder, and her father's father, Pieter Breughel, were both painters, and their son, David Teniers III, and his son's son, David Teniers IV, were painters. The painter's guild of Antwerp elected him as its head.

In a refreshing twist on the painting only theme, Archduke Leopold Wilhelm, the then boss of Belgium, hired Teniers not only to paint, but also to curate and acquire paintings for the archdukal collection. Teniers then branched out from painting and buying paintings for the Archduke, to dealing art generally, and became rich and influential.

Teniers enjoyed making money, and in the second half of his career he turned up the volume, which brought his total body of work to over 900 paintings. Many of the later paintings were, shall we say, less detailed than his earlier work and were whipped out in a single afternoon.

According to one subsequently discredited rumor, he faked his own death so his paintings would commend higher prices.

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Here is what Wikipedia says about David Teniers the Younger

David Teniers the Younger or David Teniers II (15 December 1610 – 25 April 1690) was a Flemish Baroque painter, printmaker, draughtsman, miniaturist painter, staffage painter, copyist and art curator. He was an extremely versatile artist known for his prolific output. He was an innovator in a wide range of genres such as history painting, genre painting, landscape painting, portrait and still life. He is now best remembered as the leading Flemish genre painter of his day. Teniers is particularly known for developing the peasant genre, the tavern scene, pictures of collections and scenes with alchemists and physicians.

He was court painter and the curator of the collection of Archduke Leopold Wilhelm, the art-loving Governor General of the Habsburg Netherlands. He created a printed catalogue of the collections of the Archduke. He was the founder of the Antwerp Academy, where young artists were trained to draw and sculpt in the hope of reviving Flemish art after its decline following the death of the leading Flemish artists Rubens and Anthony van Dyck in the early 1640s. He influenced the next generation of Northern genre painters as well as French Rococo painters such as Antoine Watteau.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about David Teniers the Younger