Oil on canvas
53,5 x 69,5 cm
signed “D.Teniers”on the box (l.c.), and dated ‘1681’on the barrel;
With dedication on verso: “To Felixe & Charli Eyston – presented by Grandmother as a wedding present, September 1982 – L.H.”
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A young woman and a male companion are engaged in conversation. She is smoking a typical ‘Gouda’ clay pipe and holding a Berkemeyer glass in her right hand. A little white dog sits trustingly by the girl’s side. From a window at the top, an older lady observes the couple. Above her head an owl, the ancient symbol of wisdom. Could she be the girl’s mother, secretly observing what is going on? The presence of the dog indicates a form of trust and fidelity. Is the young man putting the young woman to a test of courtship? And might the dog indicate her being faithful and not giving in to his advances? To the right in the background is a group of merry peasants, in front of an open fireplace, possibly speculating about the outcome of the couple’s conversation.