Menu Login Ticket basket   Search

Interior of a Tavern

The Flemish painter Adriaen Brouwer (c. 1605-1638) has painted this tavern scene in a loose, brushy manner, relying on varying shades of brown to suggest a sense of rural informality. In addition to bawdy elements, such as the man urinating against a post, Brouwer has chosen to focus on the wide variety of facial expressions and gestures of the tavern-goers. This interest in expressiveness is underscored by the drawing or print tacked above the fireplace, which resembles drawings of caricatured heads and faces by the Italian artist, Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519).

Brouwer died in Antwerp aged only 32. Yet, even within his own lifetime, he was renowned for his genre scenes, particularly his figures’ expressive faces. According to seventeenth-century inventories, his works were owned by his Antwerp-based contemporary Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) and by the Dutch artist Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669) - works by both artists can be found in the collection of Dulwich Picture Gallery. 

Currently on display

Adriaen Brouwer
Gallery 4
32.4 x 43.2 cm
Oil on panel
Bourgeois Bequest, 1811
Accession number
Adopted by Mr and Mrs Hugh Barclay, 1991