David Teniers The Young (copy by) - inv. 1049

Copy by David Teniers The Young

Hurdy-Gurdy Player
17th century, second half
  
36,5 x 26 cm
1879 bequest Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli
Inv. 1049

Foreign Artist Room
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The work depicts a hurdy-gurdy player, a popular stringed instrument.
The subject and composition type refer to David Teniers the Younger, who often portrayed single standing figures against a landscape background in which other characters near a hut generally appear too. These figures are usually holding a cup or a jug, sometimes a wheat sheaf, at others a musical instrument, as in our case, and they often have an allegorical significance.
At other times this type of subject matter was not charged with allegorical symbolism and so fell into the ‘genre’ category that boasted a consolidated tradition from the sixteenth century onwards with its representations of beggars and street musicians. The grotesque aspect that often characterises these figures derives from the negative moral judgement commonly passed on beggars (and begging musicians) especially in the Lutheran Protestant areas of the northern Low Countries.
The rather simplified execution and the existence of other known copies of the subject indicate that this work is probably a copy after a painting by Teniers.