An Old Man sleeping by a Fireside attended by a Maidservant
Quiringh Gerritsz van Brekelenkam (Zwammerdam after 1622 – Leyden c.1669)
Something is amiss in this prosperous Dutch household. An old man is slumped by a fireside while a young woman raises an empty glass to indicate that it is inebriation rather than warmth or advanced years that has caused him to doze off. Folly belongs to age rather than youth in this scene, which often presages moral malaise in pictures like this although the smile of the woman as she meets our gaze suggests we perhaps should not take this lapse too seriously.
Oil painting on panel, An Old Man sleeping by a Fireside attended by a Maidservant by Quiringh Gerritsz van Brekelenkam (Zwammerdam c.1620 – Leyden 1668), traces of a monogram on the back of the chair, c.1655-65. Interior with an elderly man seated asleep on a chair; at the right a woman in a yellow dress, white apron and red coat edged with white fur, stands holding a jug in her left hand and a wineglass in her right.
Bought from Colnaghi by Mrs Greville, 1919, for £900; The bequest of Margaret (Anderson) McEwan, The Hon. Mrs Ronald - later Dame Margaret - Henry Fulke Greville, DBE (1863-1942) from probate records linked with the donation of the property to the National Trust in 1943. This item found on the record for Polesden Lacey pictures, drawings etc., stored in the cellar, page 173.
Polesden Lacey, The McEwan Collection (National Trust)
Marks and inscriptions
QB (traces of monogram on back of chair)
Makers and roles
Quiringh Gerritsz van Brekelenkam (Zwammerdam after 1622 – Leyden c.1669), artist