ID number: BIRBI-47.1
Institution: The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Artist / Maker: Teniers, David the younger (1610-1690)
Title / Object name: The bleaching ground
Object type: Painting
Place made: possibly Antwerp
Date made: the 1640s
Materials: Oil on canvas
Measurements: 85 x 120.5 cm
Provenance: Royal Collection, Madrid; brought to Paris during the Napoleonic Wars; purchased by Mr Thomas Emmerson for 25,000 francs, 1828; Emmerson sale, Phillips, London, 1 May 1829 (lot 159), purchased by Brown for 560 guineas; acquired before 1831 by the Marquess of Ailesbury, remained with the family until 1947; Hector Bruce Binney; Purchased from Hector Bruce Binney in 1947 for £2,500.
The women of an unidentified town gather for the first spring wash after the long winter months. The setting is a communal bleaching ground with its wells and an open wash house to the right. This is located outside the town walls where there is space to lay out the linen in the sun.
Teniers specialised in scenes of peasant life, rooted in the passing seasons. Here, he matches their diverse activities with carefully observed characters and varied expressions.
Inscriptions / Translations: Signed I.r.: DAVID TENIERS F
Notes: Exhibited: British Institution, London, 1829, no. 85; British Institution, London, UK, 1867, no. 86; 'Old Masters', Royal Academy, London, UK, 1881, no. 81; '17th Century Art in Europe', Royal Academy, London, UK, 1938, no. 99; 'Bruegel, une dynastie de peintures', Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, Belgium, 18 September 1980 - 18 November 1980, no. 207; 'David Teniers the younger', Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp, Belgium, 12 May 1991 - 01 September 1991, no. 27; 'David Teniers der Jüngere 1610 - 1690. Alltag und Vergnügen in Flandern', Staatliche Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe, Germany, 04 November 2005 - 19 February 2006, no. 34.