PIETER DE BLOOT (Rotterdam 1601/02 – Rotterdam 1658)
Peasants Drinking and Smoking in an Interior
signed on the stone well P. De Bloot
oil on an oval panel
13 ¼ x 14 ⅓ inches (34 x 37 cm.)
C.P.A. & G.R. Castendijk, Rotterdam, by 1989
Drs. Salomon Lilian, Amsterdam, by 1997
Charles Roelofsz, Amsterdam, 1999, from whom acquired by
Private Collection, Washington, D.C., until the present time
Rotterdam, Historisch Museum, Rotterdamse Meesters uit de Gouden Eeuw, October 15, 1994 – January 15, 1995, no. 7
Tableau, XII, no. 1, September 1989, in an advertisement for C.P.A. & G.R. Castendijk, Rotterdam, for the Fine Art and Antiques Fair, Prinsenhof Museum, Delft
Roel James, “Pieter de Bloot, Boereninterieur, ca. 1635-1640” in Rotterdamse Meesters uit de Gouden Eeuw, Historisch Museum, Rotterdam, Waanders Uitgevers, Zwolle, 1994, pp. 170-171, 206, cat. no. 7, illustrated twice
Amsterdam, Drs. Salomon Lilian, “Pieter de Bloot” in Old Master Paintings, 1997, p. 12-13, illustrated
Pieter de Bloot lived all his life in Rotterdam. He earned a reputation as a painter of tavern scenes and quarreling peasants. De Bloot appears to have been strongly influenced by Adriaen Brouwer (1605 – 1638) and David Teniers the Younger (1610 – 1690). De Bloot’s genre paintings of low life remain, however, distinctly Dutch, particularly in the execution of the faces. Also characteristic of de Bloot, as demonstrated in this work, are the still-life elements that he puts in his interiors. He also painted religious scenes as well as a few landscapes. Works by the artist can be found in the museums of: Amsterdam; Brussels; Cambridge, U.S.; Cambridge, U.K.; Florence; Greenwich, U.K.; The Hague; London; Paris; Philadelphia; Prague; Rotterdam; Saint Petersburg; Utrecht; Vienna; and Wuppertal.
De Bloot rarely dated his works. When our panel was shown in the 1994 exhibition in Rotterdam, the date of execution was fixed as circa 1635-1640, at which point there is a further notable influence by Herman and Cornelis Saftleven. What is most striking in this work is the soft coloration imbued by a subtle interplay of light and shadow. Around a table near a fireplace, three men and a woman with a child are thoroughly enjoying themselves while drinking and smoking. A fourth man to their left watches the revelry while also indulging. Simple household items are scattered throughout, with perhaps such items as the broken jar, idle broom, and discarded mussel shells scattered on the floor intended as a warning sign against sloth.