David Teniers the Younger

David Teniers the Younger (Flemish, 1610—1690) was one of the most important painters in 1600s Flanders, now mainly in modern Belgium. He painted a wide range of subjects but specialized in landscapes and genre scenes featuring peasants and rural life, which were collected by rulers from all over Europe. A quick painter, Teniers eventually completed over 900 paintings.

Teniers’s first training came from his father, the painter David Teniers the Elder. His marriage to the daughter of master painter Jan Brueghel the Elder led to an intimate acquaintance with that family of painters, as well as to Peter Paul Rubens, the internationally-famous Flemish artist and diplomat. Teniers was elected to lead the Antwerp guild of painters in 1644, but left for Brussels seven years later to serve as court painter for two consecutive royal governors. As court curator, Teniers built up a royal art collection which would later become the nucleus of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. Despite his international reputation, Teniers retained fond ties to his home city of Antwerp, and in 1663 used his reputation to obtain a royal charter for the founding of Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts.

Self-portrait of David Teniers the Younger; detail of The Archduke Leopold Wilhelm in his Picture Gallery in Brussels, 1650-52; Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna