Gert van Hens (Heus)
Scene with a hurdy-gurdy player and a boy violinist outside a tavern, 1650-1700
Oil on panel, 59,4 x 76,2 cm.
Inventory number: 0027NMK
Bought around 1870
This painting of a cheerful scene outside a tavern was the first Dutch painting acquired by Johannes Hage for his collection. The subject falls within a genre of Dutch Golden Age art called ‘vrolijk gezelschap’ (in English: ‘merry company’), where a small gathering of characters is often depicted having a good time with spirits and accompanying music. This painting depicts two musicians playing to the great enjoyment of the tavern guests seen in front of the tavern and through one of its windows. The background reveals a large plain, where a fisherman can be spotted as well as a rider approaching the festive spectacle. Not much is known about the artist Gert van Hens (Heus). However, this scene, with its festive peasant life in the foreground and evocative landscape in the background, appears to be heavily inspired by Isack van Ostade’s village scenes.