Rotterdam 1608 - 1677 Rotterdam
Panel, 39 x 51 cm
Painted circa 1660
Hoogsteder & Hoogsteder, The Hague
Over-indulgence in alcohol and smoking leads to impotence. And this picture perfectly illustrates the saying: ‘Too much of ought is good for nought’. What immediately strikes one about this painting is the telling expressions of the two principal characters: the derision of the standing man and the dismay of the seated peasant. The interior is executed in shades of brown with the light falling on the principal elements: both the peasants, the pewter beer jugs the bunch of onions and the white cloth in the basket are all illuminated. Interestingly the picture contains no glasses or mugs. The smaller of the two jugs is in fact for drinking out of, a tankard, and was certainly used for beer. The larger is a pitcher that in turn would have been filled from the barrel. The presence of both vessels indicates that the humiliating scene is being played out in a tavern, not in a private home.
Pieter Duyfhuysen, who was known as a genre painter, was from Rotterdam. He may have studied with the painter Johannes Torrentius from Haarlem.