Jan Miense Molenaer, Dutch, 1609/10-1668
Title: Peasants Teaching a Cat and Dog to Dance
Date: late 1630s
Medium: Oil on wood panel
54.6 x 71.2 cm
Signed: lower centre: J. Molenaer
Credit Line: Purchased, 1873
Object Number: NGI.45
ProvenancePurchased, Fosters, London, H. E. Wyatt sale, 1873, lot 119; bt Waters on behalf of the Gallery
Label TextA group of children of various ages are having fun making a dog and cat dance on a table. Although the dog seems to be enjoying it, the cat, whose ears are being pulled, is in pain. In the adjacent room, a woman, probably the children’s mother, tends to a fireplace. Molenaer was a student of Frans Hals, as was his wife Judith Leyster, one of the few female painters active in Holland during the seventeenth century. Molenaer’s versatile oeuvre comprised many animated genre scenes, frequently including children mocking and being mocked. He also painted many portraits with a strong genre-like character.

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