More about Archduke Leopold William in his Gallery at Brussels


Archduke Leopold Wilhelm governed the Spanish Netherlands, a job he was completely unqualified for BTW.

But being Archduke turned out to be a super profitable job.  So he gets to thinking, what better way to spend all this government dough than buying more art than the walls can hold?

In the mid-1600s, David Teniers the Younger was hired by Archduke Leopold Wilhelm to be his painter and art collector.  The poor Archduke had lost all of his artwork to looting Swedes, and instead of moping about it he decided to found the Vienna Picture Gallery.  Teniers was hired as an artist and gallery curator, and was given the title “ayuda de camara” which means room attendant.  Everything sounds worse in English.

Despite the fact that the Archduke’s growing art collection led to Teniers’s cushy job, the painter still decided to paint a scene mocking his boss.  The walls of art dominate over the little people who purchased them, implying that the Archduke’s spending was getting a little out of hand.  You would think a painter would be down with a rich guy who’s obsessed with paintings, but life is full of surprises.

Eventually, the Archduke’s situation in Spain deteriorated so he moved back to Vienna.  Fortunately, he got to keep his gigantic art collection, so being an unqualified administrator wasn’t a total waste.

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Here is what Wikipedia says about Gallery of Archduke Leopold Wilhelm in Brussels (Vienna)

Archduke Leopold Wilhelm and the artist in the archducal picture gallery in Brussels is a 1651 painting of Archduke Leopold Wilhelm's Italian art collection by the Flemish Baroque painter David Teniers the Younger, now held in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Gallery of Archduke Leopold Wilhelm in Brussels (Vienna)

Comments (1)


These types of paintings are so captivating. Where the artist paints a multitude of paintings all in one. You can spend so much time on these just looking at each individual background painting. I imagine that this would take quite some time to complete but is well worth it.