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Fine Art/Tavern painting


Dear Sir,
The previous owner of this painting thought it might be by Jan Steen, but I think it is more in the genre of Adriaen Brouwer or David Teniers.  What do you think?  There appears to be a monogram of "AB" in the upper left.  Am I imagining it?

Thank you

Hello Timothy;
Thank you for the question, and also  the excellent photo of the painting.
With regard to the painting and based on the supplied image, my own opinion is as follows;

The work  is quite definitely not by Jan Steen and it is also most definitely not, by any artist from the period commonly known as “De Gouden Eeuw” (Golden Age) of the very later part of the 16th  or even the full blown 17th century in the Low Countries.

There are too many factors and these are all  too numerous to deal with here, which lead me - firmly to believe this.

It is in fact, a much later 19th century "genre" style, executed somewhere in the last quarter of the 19th century.

One would need to think in terms of the world of Dickens, Wordsworth and suchlike.
We are most certainly, looking at a world of both unadulterated Victorian romanticism, and morals here.

It is a harking back to other and far more  idyllic times, and looking away from the ghastly realities of the  “Victorian industrial” age.

It is in all likelihood painted by an amateur, somewhere in perhaps the 1880’s, or thereabouts.

Briefly to sum up, it uses both the double barreled language and shapes which all belong to a long forgotten -  bygone past.

This picture is used to illustrate a jolly tavern scene, but also one with a slight and almost hidden, anti-semitic overtone of the period. In some respects, it also echoes the sinister moral warnings of a Hogarth print.

A great deal of research time would be needed, to uncover more about the authorship.
The financial value of the work, lays at the lower end of the 100’s scale.

As a work it is obviously very interesting, but also has a great value as a documentation of the late Victorian tastes and styles.

It is also however represents a way of escape - from the absolute hideousness of the periods industrial daily life, and to look back to a world which appeared more calm, and perhaps easier to understand, and also to deal with.

In a way the painting, is perhaps best compared to the movie; City Lights of 1931, and that of the new 2012 movie, called "The Artist."
Once you have seen both, then you get more of a real idea of the difference between a genuine Jan Steen  “et al”  of the period, with that of your much later version.

Enjoy the painting, pull up a chair and take a good long look at it.  

It most definitely has a story to tell, one needs only -  but to listen.

There are a great many more hidden messages and tiny innuendo’s, all skulking around in the painting.
But of course, they are all flavoured with a particular “Victorian” view of the world!!!!

Take care.

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D. E. Lombardo


I am unable to answer enquiries concerning objects, which are NOT related to the areas of Fine Art and Antiques. Nor will I; on the sole basis of any photographic images be willing to give any definitive monetary valuations, or monetary opinions. In such cases I would always advise on getting “real time” valuations and opinions from reputable and qualified auction houses, or third parties. In some applicable cases, I may perhaps give general indications of value, based on the presented materials. True valuations always need a direct “hands on” approach, with perhaps also the necessary research and verifications. Broadly open to almost all questions, regarding the majority of both European, American quality objects, which are related to both Antiques and Fine Art. This also includes modern 20th century designer objects such as furniture etc. My own particular comfort zone areas would be; The decorative Arts, marble, stone, furniture, ivory, bone, amber, ceramics and porcelain, sculpture, glass, silver and metal objects etc. I will also answer inquiries, and give opinions concerning Dutch 17th, 18th and 19th century paintings. Please note that I do have limitations and cannot possibly answer all questions, as the field is very extensive. VERY IMPORTANT and PLEASE NOTE: Please note that; providing > GOOD CLEAR and Preferably High Resolution < photo's of the object(s)in question, is vital. Pics taken with a cell/mobile phone, are of a poor quality and best avoided. Posting signatures only, or just fragments of an artifact - will only provide me with insufficient information and it is often quite misleading. So please; Do post good clear overall images, with your question(s). Failing to do so, may cause rejection, which is also a great pity.


Since the early 90’s I lead a team of very enthusiastic staff at a business, where have the following disciplines; Restoration and refurbishment of historical buildings and gardens, including interior design. The restoration and care of Fine Art and Antiques at our restoration studio We are also Fine Art and Antique dealers, besides being collectors ourselves for a great number of years.

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Since I wished to become a Restoration Architect, firstly I took my BA degree in Art History. Then after graduation, I followed this immediately by studies to graduate and become a Restoration Architect. Ever since then, I have been an established Restoration Architect and Antiquarian. Since a great number of buildings are also inhabited by Fine Art fixtures and furnishings, I also became absorbed by all the artifacts, which go to fill them and not only the edifices themselves. This and much more, was the reason for gaining an advisory post on the City Commission; For The Protection and Care of Historic Monuments of Amsterdam - Amstelveen.

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