David Teniers the Younger is one of the greatest 17th-century Flemish genre painters. Son of the painter David Teniers, he became a master of the Guild of Saint Luke in Antwerp in 1633. Several years later he married Anne, the daughter of Jan Brueghel the Elder, also known as 'Velvet' Brueghel. He began by painting landscapes in the style of Jan Brueghel and Paul Bril, while his first genre scenes reveal the influence of Adriaen Brouwer. He then acquired a personal style that combined light tones and warms colours. He also broadened his range of themes and besides rustic scenes, he painted works featuring magicians, witches, doctors and alchemists. His characters are sometimes portrayed by costumed monkeys or cats. As regards his genre scenes, Teniers considerably extended Brouwer’s repertoire, increasing the number of village feasts and other popular festivities. His great interest in the rural world and peasants can clearly be seen in the impressive number of peasant scenes he painted, but also in his small-scale portraits of peasants. However, it is in paintings such as the Village feast in the Prado in Madrid, the Drinker at a table in the Louvre, or Smoking in the Petit Palais museum, that the art of this great painter exults.
In 1645, he became dean of Guild of Saint Luke in Antwerp. He then settled in Brussels in 1651 after being appointed court painter by Archduke Leopold Wilhelm and curator of his collection. From this period onwards, his style adapted to the visual and moral requirements of the court and he began to move away from rural scenes in favour of religious, mythological and literary subjects: he painted allegories and contemporary events as well as portraits. As for his village scenes, they served as models for tapestries in the 17th and 18th centuries.