JOOST CORNELISZ. DROOCHSLOOT (UTRECHT 1586-1666)
A village with peasants and a feud in the foreground; and A village with peasants merrymaking outside a tavern
the first signed with monogram and dated 'JC. DS. 1647' (lower left, on the wall); the second signed with monogram and dated 'JC: DSc. 164' (lower centre)
oil on canvas
305⁄8 x 403⁄4 in. (77.8 x 103.5 cm.) each
Kreuser collection; Weinmüller, Munich, 13 December 1951, lots 583 and 584, where acquired by the present owners.
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Katalog Kunst in der Vereinsbank 1500 bis 1950, Munich, 1997, pp. 31-35
Joost Cornelisz. Droochsloot was a popular painter of landscapes, village scenes and moral allegories based in Utrecht, where he became a member of the Guild in 1616, and worked there until his death in 1666. In 1620 he bought a house, which he paid for in paintings, over a period of twelve years. He stood in the tradition of Flemish landscape painting, particularly of the village scenes as developed by Pieter Brueghel the Elder. It is for his popular cheerful village scenes, such as the present pair of paintings, that he is most celebrated.
In these two paintings Droochsloot painted a contrast between two villages, one celebrating a kermesse with all the inhabitants of the village mingling with each other in harmony, and the other a village in a state of chaos and unrest. By 1747, when this pair of paintings were completed, Droochsloot had been made a deacon of the Dutch Reformed church, and it is likely these pictures were meant to emphasise the difference between a village that listened to the moral messages of the church and one that did not. In the scene of the kermesse the village is flourishing, people are healthy and celebrating their mutual friendships, and the church’s influence is made clear by the fluttering banner in the mid-distance. In the other picture, the church on the right has been left to fall into disrepair, and throughout the scene there are signs of disorder, most evident in the drunken brawl between two men brandishing weapons who are held apart by their wives. There is a fine attention to detail noticeable in these works that was typical of Droochsloot’s approach.
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