Monday, March 08, 2021

Drinking Wine: Paintings by Gabriël Metsu

A Man and a Woman At Wine by Gabriël Metsu 

Interior with a Lady at a Spinet and a Gentleman Offering
her a Glass of Wine
by Metsu
-- Source

The Wine Drinker by Metsu

Woman Offering a Glass of Wine to a Man by Metsu

Breakfast by Metsu
Among the many painters of the Dutch Golden Age, Gabriël Metsu (1629-1667) has always appealed to me. I like all the details in his paintings: the furniture, the beautiful dresses and jackets that the women wear, and the little stories implied by the actions of the women and men in the paintings. Today I have chosen several paintings where the subjects were drinking wine, a very enjoyable choice of themes. I especially like seeing the wine glasses, jugs, and other vessels in use in these paintings, and seeing the affection between people who are sharing food and drink.

Metsu created a very large number of works, though he is not as famous as some of the other Golden Age painters, such as Vermeer (1632-1675), Rembrandt (1606-1669) or Carl Fabritius (1622-1654). However, I've always been very fond of his works. Some of Metsu's paintings, like those of his contemporaries, refer to popular stories or allegorical "emblems" that were well-known in his time but are no longer so familiar.

Unlike the painters of the early 20th century, who often lived an artistic lifestyle, especially in the more impoverished and Bohemian neighborhoods of Paris, the Dutch Golden Age painters belonged to the class that made a living from crafts and businesses. Painters like Metsu made family portraits for wealthy or upper-middle-class people, and produced works that were appreciated for their decorative value in the beautifully furnished homes of well-off craftsmen, manufacturers, and merchants. The settings of the paintings are often in such homes, showing rich furnishings and carpets.

The first time that I became aware of the work of Metsu was when I saw the following painting in the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco:

Woman Playing a Viola de Gamba by Metsu

This blog post by mae sander, to be shared with the bloggers at Elizabeth's Altered Book Lover. With sadness, this post is now dedicated to Eileen, who often shared her blog posts with Elizabeth and the others. Eileen told us about having surgery a couple of weeks ago, and tragically, she didn’t make it. I especially send condolences to the bloggers who knew her better and longer than I did.


kwarkito said...

merci beaucoup pour cette publication. J'ignorais l'existence de ce peintre. Et tous ces informations sont absolument pasionnantes.

Mae Travels said...

@Kwarkito — You could see a magnificent Metsu painting in the Louvre if and when the museum itself and that part of the museum are open.I’m aware of the stereotype that real Parisians never go to the Louvre, but maybe you are different.


Debra Eliotseats said...

I love these paintings!

DVArtist said...

This is a beautiful post

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Of all the Dutch painters of his era, Metsu was the most unusual and unique. At least that's how I always viewed his works. These are simply wonderful examples pf people drinking wine during that time period. Thanks for sharing these great examples of Metsu's work with us for T this almost Tuesday.

Kate Yetter said...

I always love seeing art. Beautiful paintings!
Happy Tea Day,

My name is Erika. said...

I haven't heard of Metsu, but then I don't really know much about the Dutch golden age of painters. He was very talented, wasn't he? Thanks for sharing these Mae and introducing me to a new painter. Happy T day. Hugs-Erika

Tandy | Lavender and Lime ( said...

This is a new artist to me. I shall have to see which museums in The Netherlands I can see more of his works.

Iris Flavia said...

The dog in the last pic really did make me smile. And thinking of Eileen we need smiles.

J said...

Hi Mae, lovely paintings and beautiful clothing but I'm so pleased not to have to wear them every day!
I went to the De young Museum In San Francisco on a school trip with our GS two years ago, a lovely place to visit.
Take Care
Jan S

CJ Kennedy said...

You always find such wonderful things to share on T Day. I never heard of Metsu. I enjoyed the paintings you featured and admired the way he portrayed the folds in the clothing and the sheen of the fabrics. Happy t Day

Divers and Sundry said...

RIP Eileen. This is a fitting tribute.

Metsu's portraits and interior scenes have so much detail! Happy T Tuesday!

Linda Kunsman said...

gorgeous paintings. There is so much depth and richness in them. Thanks for sharing and happy T day wishes!

Let's Art Journal said...

Such a beautiful post! The paintings are gorgeous and captures the joy of sharing food and wine so well. Thanks for your kind thoughts and wishes regarding our loss over at T Day, such a lovely tribute. Take care and Happy T Day wishes! Hugs, Jo x

pearshapedcrafting said...

I had never heard of Metsu so thank you for the introduction! One thing that struck me were the details in the dresses, you can imagine the feel of the crumpled silk in the last and the second painting in particular.
I see that a visit to the Louvre may be on the itinerary for our next visit. We went there with two of my sons on an art trip one year - it's not my favourite - I prefer the Orsay or my favourite The Rodin Museum. They were both at different universities studying art. The youngest is coming up for 40 now!!
Yes we do see aubretia - it's not flowering yet but I'll try to remember to take some photos when its time.
We love Cambridge, did you get to Ely when you were there - it has the most magnificent Minster!
Have a great weekend, very belated T Day wishes, Chrisx