Merry Company, Dirck Hals
Dirck Hals
Merry Company
Back to top

Dirck Hals

Merry Company, ca. 1620


Dimensions
49.0 x 73.0 x min. 0.5 cm
maximum depth
0.8 cm
Physical Description
Oil on oak
Inventory Number
1587
Acquisition
Acquired in 1918 as a bequest from Fritz Berg
Status
On display

Texts

About the Work

The young people in this painting emphasise their fashion-consciousness with colourful fabrics and large lace collars. The table in the garden is sumptuously laid, the wine already flowing in abundance. The oysters – known for their aphrodisiacal qualities – have also taken effect. Yet two of the men seem somewhat out of place. The bearded fat fellow in black is the ‘Peeckelharing’, a personification of drunkenness, and the standing man with the old-fashioned red hat is ‘Hansworst’. They are two well-known jester types whose presence mocks the carefree wastefulness of the ‘merry company’.

About the Donation

Fritz Berg (1864-1918) was the son of the lawyer, notary and mayor of Frankfurt Karl Nikolaus Berg (1826-1887). Fritz Berg died in 1918 "in the field in the battle for the fatherland" - as we can read in the obituary signed by his brother Dr. Alexander Berg (1868-1960) in the 'Frankfurter Zeitung' of 15 October 1918. Alexander Berg was probably also the initiator of this art bequest. From 1904 he was a member of the Städel administration. According to later reports by Alexander Berg, the Berg family possessed an extensive collection of paintings and graphic works. In addition to this painting, the donation to the Städel Museum also included a Flemish Madonna painting dated about 1520.

Audio

  • 01:33
    Basic information
  • 01:36
    Focus on art history
  • 01:31
    Focus on cultural history

Work Data

Basic Information

Title
Merry Company
Painter (male)
Period Produced
School
Object Type
Physical Description
Oil on oak
Material
Technique
Label at the Time of Manufacture
Signiert unten links auf einer Melone: DHALS (partiell verloren)

Property and Acquisition

Institution
Administration
Collection
Picture Copyright
© Städel Museum, Foto: U. Edelmann
Acquisition
Acquired in 1918 as a bequest from Fritz Berg

Work Content

Motifs and References

Iconclass

Primary
  • 41CC51 banquet of elegant company - CC - out of doors
  • 56B11 Mirth, Hilarity
  • 33C93 garden of Love, court of Love, 'fête galante'
  • 33C8 amorousness, desire
  • 43B42 park
Secondary

More to discover

Albums

Contact

Do you have any suggestions, questions or information about this work?

Last import

01.07.2019