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Adriaen Brouwer Gallery     Prints.     Full biography.
Adriaen Brouwer (1605-1638)
Adriaen Brouwer was born in Oudenaarde, Belgium. His works are typically detailed and small, often adopting themes of debauchery, drunkenness and foolishness. Brouwer himself spent much time in the alehouses of Flanders and Holland. Both Rubens and Rembrandt owned a number of his works.
Barbar Shop
Card Players
Bitter Draught
Peasants Fighting
Smoking and Drinking
Seated Drinkers


Peasants Fighting
Oil on wood, 33 x 49 cm
Alte Pinakothek, Munich

Dutch realism was a matter not merely of imitative techniques but also of everyday themes: people and objects, houses and streets that might be found in the Republic. Comic paintings seem especially deliberate in their concern with thematic as well as pictorial realism. Like comedies, comic images in theory should depict people as they are, or even worse as they are. Painters fulfilled this requirement in paintings of down-to-earth, lowly themes, of peasants and burghers guzzling, drinking, laughing, dancing, and groping. In theme, these paintings recall comic texts and plays that linger on similar scenes and motifs rather than presenting a tight narrative. A painting of boors fighting by Adriaen Brouwer may seem uncommonly lifelike, with its violent action, gruff faces, poorly dressed peasants or urban dissolutes, and dishevelled tavern interior.
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