A Music Party before a Village

Image credit: The National Gallery, London

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In an unidentified landscape streaked with the long shadows of evening, a variety of people go about their business. Among the figures are courting couples and a number of gardeners, both suggestive of fertility and fruitfulness. In the front right corner, three women make music. The fourth member of their party has put down his violin and twists to reach out to a woman, who bends over responsively as her male companion looks on, apparently startled. The group anticipates the eighteenth-century fêtes galantes (‘courtship parties’) made famous by the artist Jean-Antoine Watteau. The picture has been dated to the 1640s and 1650s on account of the costumes. The landscape seems to be the work of a follower of Joos de Momper II, while the figures appear to have been painted by a different artist.

The National Gallery, London



A Music Party before a Village




Oil on canvas


H 142.7 x W 182.3 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Wynn Ellis Bequest, 1876

Work type


The National Gallery, London

Trafalgar Square, London, Greater London WC2N 5DN England

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