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A horizontal view of a humble thatched roof cottage, rolling hills and billowing clouds surround three men in the center.

A woman in shadow is bent over a washtub near the entrance to cottage on the left, a wide board decrepit fence behind her. The men are having a conversation facing eachother, wearing hats, one has a walking stick. Two more thatched roof cottages with chimneys are seen behind the hills near the center, populated by a few young trees, and a man walking across towards the left, in the distance. There’s a tall spire on the far right behind a grove of trees.

Gallery Text

Based in Antwerp, David Teniers produced a wide range of works, from portraits and religious paintings to interior genre scenes and landscapes with figures. Teniers’s small landscape paintings were most likely created for wealthy city dwellers and merchants in Antwerp who decorated their homes with “cabinet pictures” such as this one. Departing significantly from his earlier satirical depictions of country life, here Teniers painted an idyllic scene in which peasants are innocent and in harmony with nature. Such treatment of the subject reflects a new attitude toward the countryside in 17th-century Flanders, which then could be appreciated as a place of peace, tranquility, and nostalgia, far from the intensity of urbanism and commerce and from the devastation of the prolonged Eighty Years’ War (1568–1648).

Identification and Creation

Object Number
David Teniers II, Flemish (Antwerp 1610 - 1690 Brussels)
Landscape with Peasants and a Washerwoman
Other Titles
Alternate Title: Figures conversing in a park
Work Type
c. 1640-1650
Persistent Link


Level 2, Room 2300, European Art, 17th–19th century, Seventeenth–Century Dutch and Flemish Art
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Physical Descriptions

Oil on panel
14 × 32 cm (5 1/2 × 12 5/8 in.)
framed: 25.5 × 43.5 cm (10 1/16 × 17 1/8 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • inscription: recto, lower right: D TENIERS
  • inscription: verso, chalk: 16
  • label: verso, handwritten text, brown ink: Codicil to the will of the late Thom [missing text] [missing text] yce [likely Thomas Boyse] of Bannow / Dated December 9th. 1853. / "I give and bequeath to my School fellow and valued / "friend, The Earl Fortescue two valuable Pictures in / "my collection at Bannow, The one by Teniers the / "other by Holbima [sic], or any other two of my Pictures / "at Bannow which he may prefer to them; and / "I request his Lordship's acceptance of them as a / "Slender recognition of the gratitude respect and Love / I bear him in consideration of his many Kindnesses."


Recorded Ownership History
Thomas Boyce (or Boyse) of Barrow (1785-1853), bequest; to Hugh Fortescue, 3rd Earl Fortescue (1818-1905), 1853, by descent; sold [through Christie's, London, July 9, 1999, lot 1]. [Johnny van Haeften, LTD., London], sold; to Peter and Anne Brooke, Boston, gift; to Harvard Art Museums, 2016

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gift of Peter and Anne Brooke
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art

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Publication History

  • Old Master Paintings, auct. cat. (London, July 9, 1999), p. 39, lot 1, repr.
  • A. Cassandra Albinson and Jessie Park, "A Glimpse into the Dutch Golden Age", Index Magazine ([e-journal], April 27, 2018),, accessed April 30, 2018

Exhibition History

  • 32Q: 2400 French/Italian/Spanish, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 09/14/2017 - 01/10/2018
  • 32Q: 2300 Dutch & Flemish, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 01/17/2018 - 09/25/2019; Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 10/01/2019 - 01/01/2050

Verification Level

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