Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Group Portrait: A Wedding Celebration

Gillis van Tilborgh (Flemish, ca. 1625–ca. 1678)
Oil on canvas
45 1/2 x 63 1/4 in. (115.6 x 160.7 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, 1871
Accession Number:
Not on view
Désiré van den Schrieck, Louvain (until d. 1857; his estate sale, Étienne Le Roy, Louvain, April 8–10, 1861, no. 123, as "Réunion de famille"); comte Cornet de Ways Ruart, Brussels (until d. 1870); William T. Blodgett, Paris (from 1870; sold half share to Johnston); William T. Blodgett, Paris, and John Taylor Johnston, New York (1870–71; sold to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Taste of the Seventies," April 2–September 10, 1946, no. 56.

New York. Union League Club. "Exhibition from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," November 23, 1969–January 2, 1970, checklist no. 3.

F[ritz von]. Harck. "Berichte und Mittheilungen aus Sammlungen und Museen, über staatliche Kunstpflege und Restaurationen, neue Funde: Aus amerikanischen Galerien." Repertorium für Kunstwissenschaft 11 (1888), p. 75.

K[urt]. Zoege von Manteuffel in Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler. Ed. Hans Vollmer. Vol. 33, Leipzig, 1939, p. 167.

Harry B. Wehle. "Seventy-Five Years Ago." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 4 (April 1946), p. 200, ill. p. 205.

Millia Davenport. The Book of Costume. New York, 1948, vol. 2, p. 624, no. 1657, ill.

F[rancine].-C[laire]. Legrand. Les Peintres flamands de genre au XVIIe siècle. Brussels, 1963, p. 166, calls it "La Visite à la ferme," unconvincingly comparing a figure in a picture by Tilborgh in Rotterdam.

Walter A. Liedtke. Flemish Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1984, vol. 1, pp. 268–70; vol. 2, pl. 104, dates it about 1660.

Walter Liedtke et al. Vermeer and the Delft School. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2001, p. 276.

Katharine Baetjer. "Buying Pictures for New York: The Founding Purchase of 1871." Metropolitan Museum Journal 39 (2004), pp. 169, 183, 197, 200, 244–45, appendix 1A no. 11, ill.

The bridal couple is seated behind the table and forms the center of the approximately symmetrical group of figures. The parents of the bride sit to either side, in front of the table; the daughter takes after her mother. The parents of the groom are the older couple to the right; the groom strongly resembles his father. The young girl next to the bride and the little girl seated in the foreground are probably the bride's sisters. The other figures may all be relatives, except for the two people who watch from inside the country inn, and the maid who is serving, to the left of the bride's father. The oranges in the dish set before the bride, and held by the young girl at her side and by the groom's mother, are symbols of marriage, and also may signify chastity.
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