In this canvas of about 1660 Teniers treats a theme that may be traced back at least a century to Pieter Bruegel the Elder. There are several signs of excess behavior but the artist was clearly less concerned with preaching than with conveying the mood of the crowd. That such sunny spirits prevailed in the countryside was a view mostly entertained in the city.
Inscription: Signed (lower right): D·TENIERS·FEC
?Jeanne d'Albert de Luynes, comtesse de Verrue (until d. 1736; her estate sale, Paris, March 27, 1737, for Fr 1,755); marquis de Brunoy (until 1776; his anonymous sale, Joullain fils, Paris, December 2, 1776, no. 30, as "Lendemain des Noces," with "Accords flamands," for 10, 999.19 livres, to Merle); Lord Radstock (until 1810; sold to Bonnemaison); [François Bonnemaison, 1810–11; sold to Penrice]; Thomas Penrice, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk (1811–d. 1816); Mrs. Penrice, Great Yarmouth (by 1826–at least 1829); by descent to John Penrice, Great Yarmouth (until 1844; his sale, Christie's, London, July 6, 1844, no. 9, as "Le Lendemain des noces," for £519, to Nieuwenhuys); marquès de Salamanca, Madrid and Paris (until 1867; his sale, Paris, June 3–6, 1867, no. 120, for Fr 24,000); comte Cornet de Ways Ruart, Brussels (until 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. 53.
Palm Beach. Society of the Four Arts. "European Masters of the XVII and XVIII Centuries," January 13–February 5, 1950, no. 11.
Norwich. Castle Museum. "Dutch and Flemish Painting in Norfolk," September 10–November 20, 1988, no. 60.
Antwerp. Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten. "David Teniers the Younger: Paintings, Drawings," May 11–September 1, 1991, no. 88 (as "Peasant Dance").
Martigny. Fondation Pierre Gianadda. "The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: Chefs-d'œuvre de la peinture européenne," June 23–November 12, 2006, no. 17.
Barcelona. Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya. "Grandes maestros de la pintura europea de The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Nueva York: De El Greco a Cézanne," December 1, 2006–March 4, 2007, no. 13.
C. F. Joullain. Réflexions sur la peinture et la gravure . . . Metz, 1786, pp. 168–69, as "Le Lendemain des Noces," purchased, with "Accords flamands," by the comte de Merle at the Brunoy sale; states that the two were engraved by Lebas.
John Henry Druery. Notices of Great Yarmouth, in Norfolk, and its Environs. London, 1826, p. 79, as "A Wake," in the collection of Mrs. Penrice.
John Chambers. A General History of the County of Norfolk . . . Norwich, 1829, vol. 1, p. 305, as "A Wake," in the collection of Mrs. Penrice.
John Smith. A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch, Flemish, and French Painters. Vol. 3, London, 1831, pp. 277, 435, no. 57, states that it was sold for Fr 1,755 at the Verrue sale and Fr 11,000 at the Brunoy sale, but erroneously gives the latter sale date as 1777; catalogues a picture in the Bridgewater collection as its pendant in the Brunoy sale.
John Smith. A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch, Flemish, and French Painters. Vol. 9, Supplement. London, 1842, p. 421, no. 51, as in the collection of the Penryce family, Yarmouth.
[Henry James]. "Art: The Dutch and Flemish Pictures in New York." Atlantic Monthly 29 (June 1872), p. 760 [reprinted in John L. Sweeney, ed., "The Painter's Eye," London, 1956, pp. 59–60].
Margret Klinge. Letter to Walter Liedtke. October 10, 1980, dates it about 1660.
Walter A. Liedtke. Flemish Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1984, vol. 1, pp. 256–57; vol. 2, pl. 97, views it as a good illustration of Teniers's development away from satirical commentary towards a more positive depiction of the pleasures of countryfolk.
Andrew W. Moore. Dutch and Flemish Painting in Norfolk. Exh. cat., Castle Museum, Norwich. London, 1988, pp. 115–16, no. 60, colorpl. xxii, gives addtional provenance information.
Margret Klinge. David Teniers the Younger: Paintings, Drawings. Exh. cat., Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp. Ghent, 1991, pp. 258–59, no. 88, ill. (color) [Flemish ed., 1991], dates it about 1660 or in the 1660s.
Introduction by Walter A. Liedtke inFlemish Paintings in America: A Survey of Early Netherlandish and Flemish Paintings in the Public Collections of North America. Antwerp, 1992, pp. 20, 371, no. 473, ill.
Katharine Baetjer. "Buying Pictures for New York: The Founding Purchase of 1871." Metropolitan Museum Journal 39 (2004), pp. 172, 181, 183, 197, 199–200, 244–45, appendix 1A no. 10, ill. p. 199 and figs. 14, 31 (floor plan), 35 (installation photograph).
Walter Liedtke inThe Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: Chefs-d'œuvre de la peinture européenne. Exh. cat., Fondation Pierre Gianadda. Martigny, 2006, pp. 12–13, 106–8, no. 17, ill. (color) [Catalan ed., Barcelona, 2006, pp. 15–16, 60–63, no. 13, ill. (color, overall and details)].
Esmée Quodbach. "The Age of Rembrandt: Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 65 (Summer 2007), p. 5.
Christopher White. The Later Flemish Pictures in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen. London, 2007, p. 343, under no. 109.
This picture and a Kermess in the collection of the Duke of Sutherland were engraved by J. P. Lebas when they were in the Brunoy Collection, and Smith (1831 and 1842) records that they appeared in the Brunoy sale as pendants. The paintings are quite similar in size, date, and subject, and it is likely that the artist intended them to function formally as a pair, although each picture works as well independently.