Soldiers at Leisure

The Guardroom Scene in Dutch Genre Painting of the Golden Age

Jochai Rosen

Soldiers at Leisure

Jochai Rosen

Distributed for Amsterdam University Press

220 pages | 153 color plates | 7 1/2 x 10 | © 2010
Cloth $54.50 ISBN: 9789089642042 Published March 2011 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada

Among the rich varieties of genre painting, long recognized as one of the most characteristic and original contributions of the seventeenth-century Dutch school of painting, is a highly entertaining but often overlooked series depicting rowdy, off-duty mercenaries. This hugely successful genre portrayed soldiers as they played cards, drank, rested, and frolicked with dubious women. Here Jochai Rosen defines the characteristics and development of this formula, setting it against the prevailing art and culture of the time.

For art history students and scholars, this book grants a unique opportunity to trace the development of a fascinating Dutch genre theme, from its humble beginning in 1620s Amsterdam through its ascent to a nineteenth-century cultural phenomenon.




Chapter 1: The Guardroom Scene in Context

    The soldier in early modern Europe

    The war in the Low Countries

    The soldier in early modern European art

    Pieter Bruegel and the Flemish scenes of looting and battle

Chapter 2: The Birth of a Genre Theme

    From merry company to guardroom scene

    Pieter Codde
    The followers of Pieter Codde’s merry company scene

    The crystallisation of the guardroom scene

    The order to march

    Willem Duyster

    Pieter Potter

Chapter 3: The Burlesque Guardroom Scene of Utrecht

    The brothel in Netherlandish art

    The Caravaggisti low-life scene
    The martialism of the Caravaggisti

    Jacob Duck

    Sleep and vigilance

    Maerten Stoop

Chapter 4: A Military Theme for the Aware Bourgeois

    Pieter Quast and the alienation of the peasant

    Benjamin Cuyp

    The civic-guard portrait

    Caught between genres: Rembrandt’s Nightwatch

    Simon Kick and the gentrified guardroom scene

    Class awareness and the guardroom scene

Chapter 5: The Guardroom Scene Domesticated
    Anthonie Palamedes

    Masculinity pacified

    Jan Olis

    Guardroom scenes by other seventeenth-century Dutch painters

    David Teniers the Younger

Chapter 6: The Revival of the Guardroom Scene in the Nineteenth Century

    The Low Countries in the eighteenth century

    The Low Countries in the nineteenth century

    Ernest Meissonier and the guardroom scene in France




    Great Britain




List of Figures

Photo Credits


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