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David Teniers, the Younger, was a Baroque painter of Flemish origins. He was prolific and innovative in many genres, such as landscape, genre, history, still-life, and portrait painting.
David Teniers was born on December 15, 1610, in the city of Antwerp, Belgium. His father was David Teniers the Elder, a painter of small-scale cabinets and altarpieces. Three of Teniers’ siblings, Abraham Teniers, Theodor Teniers, and Juliaan III, also became artists. Theodor’s and Juliaan’s artworks are virtually unknown today. However, his brother Abraham would achieve a career almost as successful as David’s.
David’s artistic tutoring was under his father. The young artist would collaborate on many of his father’s artworks. Father and son would join forces to execute a series of twelve panels in the distinguished Museo del Prado, Madrid, depicting the epic Liberation of Jerusalem by Torquato Tasso. Teniers’ father was always under financial struggles, which often led him to jail, forcing the young artist to create copies of artworks by old masters in order to provide his family.
In 1637, the artist married Anna Brueghel, the daughter of the distinguished Jan Brueghel the Elder. The famous Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens was Anna’s guardian following her father’s death. Their relation led to a close friendship between Teniers and Rubens. During this period, Teniers’ fame significantly increased, and he began to receive more prestigious commissions. By 1647, Archduke Leopold Wilhelm became one of Teniers’ main patrons.
Teniers soon went to Brussels to enter formally into service of the Archduke. The Archduke would appoint the artist as the keeper of his art gallery. Teniers’ main task was to supervise and expand the Archduke’s collection. The artist would increase said collection by adding his own artworks along with several other artists that he selected. One of his most significant acquisitions was a part of James Hamilton, the 1st Duke of Hamilton’s collection, who was a close associate with Charles I of England and was also executed in 1649.
The Archduke was also responsible to exponentially increase Teniers’ fame by giving his artworks to other European rulers who would soon become Teniers’ patrons. The artist also became one of the founding members of the Academy of Antwerp, one of the earliest institutions of such type in Europe.
During his later life, Teniers became a prolific art dealer, who also organized many auctions.
Although a prolific and respected artist, he didn’t have many pupils during his career. His recorded pupils are Thomas van Apshoven, Aert van Waes, Ferdinand Apshoven, the Younger, and his son David III Teniers.