The Guardhouse

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David Teniers, the younger
Flemish, 1610-1690

The Guardhouse, 1640/50

Oil on canvas
72.6 x 55.4 cm (28 9/16 x 21 13/16 in.)
Charles L. Hutchinson Collection, 1894.1029

The versatile Flemish painter David Teniers turned to military paraphernalia as the subject of his still lifes in the mid-1640s, as the long conflict of the Thirty Years’ War was drawing to a close. Here soldiers play cards in the dim interior of a guardhouse, while a page carries the officers’ cloaks. However, the chief subject of the work is the pile of discarded armor, weaponry, and parade gear—a saddle, musket, powder horn, charging spanner, and gauntlets—in the immediate foreground. In treating armor as a still-life subject, Teniers followed the precedent of Jan Breughel the Elder, whose daughter he had married.

— Permanent collection label