Haarlem 1634 - 1704 London
Signed EVHK (right, centre of door) c. 1690/1700
Canvas, 73 x 74 cm
Hoogsteder & Hoogsteder, The Hague
Under the watchful eye of the landlady the merry company are enjoying themselves drinking, dancing and making music. But the fun is disturbed by a dignified gentleman, who admonishes the group from the stairs: it might be an illustration of the present-day exhortation: ‘Enjoy, but drink in moderation’. Remarkably large quantities of wine are being consumed in this tavern. Next to the landlady stand two empty bulbous bottles which were usually used for brandy, or other strong, often medicinal, drink. Round wine jugs with lids covering the narrow necks are strewn around on the ground. A solitary tankard of beer is being fetched by the young lad from the cellar stores.