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Pieter Jacobs Codde

Merry Company

Artist

Pieter Jacobs Codde
Amsterdam 1599 – Amsterdam 1678

Title

Merry Company

Date

1631

Materials

Oil on wood

Dimensions

53.1 x 85.4 cm

Credits

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Michal Hornstein, inv. 2014.69

Collection

Western Art

In a large panelled room, a group of seventeen figures, whose dress is rendered in detail, are enjoying themselves. In the foreground, at the centre of the composition, is featured a couple. Commonly known as “merry companies”—gezelschapjes in Dutch—interior scenes showing the leisure pursuits of the middle class began to appear in the Netherlands in the 1620s and became extremely popular. They depicted gatherings of fashionably dressed young people feasting and amusing themselves indoors or in gardens. This painting exemplifies the work of one of the genre’s great masters, the Amsterdam artist Codde. The merry companies were undeniably innovative works and played a key role in the development of genre painting.

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