Merry company: card players and musicians
Oak panel, two boards, reinforced
Height : 49 cm
Width : 65 cm
Another version of this composition was sold in Vienna at the Dorotheum on April 30, 2019, no. 323,
as by Jan Massys and his workshop (other revivals were sold in the 20th century under the name Pieter
Balten). Note the slight variations: the pose of the seated man on the left and the colour of the piper's beret in the centre, yellow
the bagpiper's beret in the centre, yellow which has become black here.
The theme of the "Vrolijk Gezelschap" or "Merry Company" is linked to the parable of the prodigal son who squanders his
who squanders his share of the inheritance in the tavern and is robbed by gambling cheats. Jan
Massys treated parallel subjects in 1562 (Moravska Galerie, Brno, inv. no. A399 and Musée Thomas Henry,
Cherbourg, inv. no. 66) and in 1564 (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, inv. no. 963). This type of work is close to
world of Pieter Brueghel, will inspire, by the tight framing, until Caravaggio and the "Cheaters" of
Georges de la Tour.
Expert : Cabinet Turquin