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Dancers and musicians in an interior

  • Listed: January 1, 1970 12:00 am
  • Title: Dancers and musicians in an interior
  • Artist: Hieronymus Francken II
  • Origins:
  • Format (cm): 61.5 x 85 cm.
  • Format (in): 24¼ x 33½ in.
  • Material:
  • Last Sale price: 134 500,00
  • Last Sale date:
Dancers and musicians in an interior


Hieronymus Francken II (Antwerp 1578-1623) Dancers and musicians in an interior oil on panel 24¼ x 33½ in. (61.5 x 85 cm.)
Acquired by the family of the present owner prior to 1929.
This festive painting by Hieronymus Francken II depicts a group of musicians on a raised platform serenading dancers below. They are in a luxurious room adorned with tooled leather walls and carved ceiling beams, and further decorated with paintings, sculptures and metalwork. Alongside the dancers are many engaging vignettes, including the dog and cat sparring at lower right and a young man at left, gazing outward as though to draw the viewer into the scene. According to Dr. Ursula Härting, this work of ‘extraordinary quality’ by Hieronymus may also include some participation by his brother Frans Francken II (1584-1642). The brothers evidently found success with such scenes, for two other nearly identical versions exist by Hieronymus, one of which is dated 1607, as well as another similar painting by Frans (see U. Härting, Frans Francken II , Freren, 1989, pp. 177-178, nos. 432-434A, pp. 366-367). The source of this subject was likely their uncle Hieronymus Francken I (circa 1540-1610), a court painter in France. The younger Franckens adapted such dancing scenes to their Flemish clientele, however, emphasizing their moralizing messages against overindulgence. The overall impression left by the painting is, however, in the words of Härting, ‘virtually contagious entertainment’ (private communication, 7 April 2002).

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