Teniers, David

, son of the preceding, was born at Antwerp in 1610, and was nick-named “The Ape of Painting;” for there was no manner of painting that he could not imitate so exactly, as to deceive even the nicest judges. He improved greatly on the talents and merit of his father, and his reputation introduced him to the favour of the great. The archduke Leopold William made him gentleman of his bedchamber; and all the pictures of his gallery were copied by Teniers, and engraved by his direction. Teniers took a voyage to England, to buy several pictures of the great Italian masters for count Fuensaldegna, who, on his return, heaped favours on him. Don John of Austria, and the king of Spain, set so great a value on his pictures, that they built a gallery on purpose for them. Prince William of Orange honoured him with his friendship; Rubens esteemed his works, and assisted him with his advice. In his thirty* fifth year he was in his zenith of perfection. His principal talent was landscape, adorned with small figures. He painted men drinking and smoking, chemists, and their laboratories, country fairs, and the like: his small figures are superior to his large ones. The distinction between the works of the father and the son is, that in the son’s you discover a finer touch and a fresher pencil, and a greater choice of attitudes, and a better disposition of figures. The father retained something of the tone of Italy in his colouring, which was stronger than the son’s, but his pictures have Jess harmony and union; besides, the son used to put at the bottom of his pictures, “David Teniers, junior.” He died at Antwerp in 1694, aged eighty-four. Sir Joshua Reynolds says, that the works of this artist are worthy the closest attention of a painter who desires to excel in the mechanical knowledge of his art. His manner of touching, or what we call handling, has perhaps never been equalled: there is in his pictures that exact mixture of softness and sharpness, which is difficult to execute. | His brother Abraham was a good painter; equal, if not superior, to his father and brother in the expression of his characters, and knowledge of the chiaro-scnro, though inferior in the sprightliness of his touch, and the lightness of his pencil. 1

1 Argenville, vol. III. Pilkington. Sir J. Reynolds’s Works.