Photo credit: Museums Sheffield
The style of this work seems to be very much after David Teniers II: the 'bowling' in the linked work is actually, as in the Sheffield painting, a version of croquet. There may be another, closer, work by Teniers.
The collection comments: 'We don't have any further information on this work, unfortunately, but we do have a work in the School of David Teniers II called 'Shuttlecock' also from the Graves Gift, so possibly by the same artist?
This certainly looks like it is a copy after Teniers II although I cannot find an original. It is derived from a known painting that is titled as 'Peasants playing Skittles' although it is a form of 'kolf' they seem to be playing. Sadly I very much doubt you will ever find the name of the artist as the painting does not display much quality and is quite poorly painted it is almost certainly by an amateur painter.
Thomas van Apshoven did many of these copies after/in the manner of Teniers - this might be one of his.
In 2013-14 I've had extended communications with Ms. Natalie Patel, Curatorial and Exhibitions Assistant (Duke of Portland) collections) at Sheffield, regarding this painting.
I've provided her with several comparanda images (too many to publish them here) and information on the ball game.
This information included descriptions of the game defined as croquet by Dr. Gehring, and kolf by Dr. Lidtke.
The Game of Troco, or beugelen, or closh(klossen), or early shuttlecock also known as trucco, or trucks, or lawn billiards, or ring ball was already played in the late 15th century, became popular in the 17th century (until 1800) and Flemish peasants were among many others who enjoyed it.
In our Email exchanges Ms. Patel mentioned that she examined and discussed the painting with Sheffild Curator of Visual Art.
Are you aware of this 2013-14 preliminary research of the painting?
Barry Tsirelson, USA
I was not aware of the research you mention, which is not reflected in the information on ArtUK. Which is why I made the suggestion.
If you are interested I will be happy to send you copies of my Emails/files exchanges with Ms. Patel.
You will be able to select images and information you consider useful for this discussion.
Please contact me via Email email@example.com for that.
I have to be careful what I say having been chucked off other detictivvin' on this site, but can anyone with better vision on this interest see the monogram, right blue clad figure half way diagonal to lad diggin' in pit?
A Hi-Res photo is definitely NEEDED and it will hopefully provide more clues.
In my 2013-14 cursory research I've found multiple paintings of ball games, allegedly by D. Teniers, which reminisce the Sheffield painting. Many elements of the Sheffield painting are present in them.
An earlier "Smith's Catalogue Raisonne listed over 900 paintings accepted as original productions of Teniers". Another scholar suggested that about 2,000 paintings should have been attributed to him. Some of his paintings were signed with his full name, some with only initials, others with monograms.
Also, eleven artists, all with the name Teniers, from the same Flemish family, are known to have painted works now in various world museums and private collections. The members of the Teniers family copied each other's work. In addition, the popularity of these paintings, even in the 17th century, encouraged numerous copies and forgeries.
As for signatures and monograms used by Teniers this link is helpful:
According to 2007 Sotheby's entry "the form of Teniers' signature, with the S of the painter's name missing, was not used after 1635".
Please find attached two high-resolution images, showing the ball game and a possible monogram.
Perhaps the figures are not meant to be seen at close range, but they are remarkably crude. I assume Teniers would have done better.
I would have thought so but bear in mind the relatively small size of the panel
This discussion has stalled since the eleven contributions of 2018-19, and seems unlikely to move any further forward. The painting clearly derives from David Teniers II, in both style and the kind of subject matter, and is possibly based on a specific, as yet unidentified, work by him. Even allowing for the small size of the panel – roughly A5 – the Sheffield picture is nowhere near the standard of David Teniers II himself. It could be by one of the many members of his family or by Thomas van Apshoven (Tim Williams’s suggestion), but there is no certainty in either case. ‘Style of David Teniers II’ would probably be the most appropriate designation, allowing for the various possibilities of authorship while providing a clue for future searches. I suggest the title might be enhanced as ‘Men playing a ball game outside a country inn’. All the above, of course, subject to Xanthe’s thoughts.
I have conferred with Xanthe and we are happy to close this discussion, with thanks to all who have contributed. For the reasons presented in my post immediately above, we recommend that the authorship of the Sheffield painting be recorded as 'Style of David Teniers II (1610-1690)'; and suggest that the title could be helpfully enhanced as 'Villagers playing a ball game outside an inn'.
Xanthe and Richard, thank you for conferring on these proposed updates, which have been passed to the collection.
Curator Liz Waring has since left the collection for a role with the National Trust, so there will be some delay in obtaining permission for the updates.