Amsterdam 1619 - 1688 Amsterdam
Signed P.Koning: 1654 (bottom right)
Canvas, 71 x 63 cm
Bredius Museum, The Hague
Dressed as Bacchus, wearing only a loincloth and vine tendrils, a man sitting on a barrel raises a toast to his foolish comrades. His römer brimming with white wine dominates the scene and is accentuated by the crystalline play of light on the glass. On the left a reveller raises his flute of red wine. The pewter plate with its array of clay pipes indicates that there is also plenty to smoke. The exact significance of the ritual depicted here, however, remains speculative. Perhaps it is a representation of a bent baptism, the inauguration of a new member of the Bentvueghels, the painters’ fraternity in Rome. Nor can we be party to the jokes alluded to in the picture, they were not intended for the uninitiated.