Cognoscenti in a Room hung with Pictures

In 17th century Flanders, it was common for artists to paint scenes such as this one of galleries as collectors and visitors mingled. It is likely that the interior of the room shown was actually imaginary, although the works hung in this room were probably real paintings in this collector’s collection. Little is known about the origin of the work, and it is possible that it was created by two separate painters. One of these artists would have painted the figures while the other artist would have painted the room. This imposing, wood panelled room boasts so many paintings that the wall itself can barely be seen; furthermore, these paintings are mostly by 16th and 17th century Antwerp artists, including works similar to those of Joachim Beuckelaer, Joos de Momper, Jan Brueghel the Elder, and Frans Francken. The work on the central table is ‘Ceres mocked by Peasants’ by Goudt after Elsheimer, while other works on the floor include prints by Durer and Lucas van Leyden.

Creator: Flemish

Date: about 1620

Original Medium: Oil on oak

Original Size: 95.9 x 123.5 cm

Location: National Gallery London