Friday Art: Barbershop With Monkeys & Cats by Abraham Teniers

Abraham Teniers was a 17th century Flemish painter from a family of more famous painters, notably David Teniers the elder (dad) and David Teniers the younger (brother). David the elder (as well as some other family members) painted lots of cabinet miniatures, but David the younger got more successful, married into the family of Pieter Breugel’s descendants and became court painter to Archduke Leopold William. He painted some wonderful landscapes, scenes of peasant life, and some religious paintings.

But deep in his soul, a voice cried…. “MORE MONKEYS!!!!!” Young David also painted monkeys in various situations. Monkeys were a popular depiction of human foibles during this period, so you’d see them in uniforms gambling or running amok, that sort of thing. But don’t tell me Abraham was a lesser artist when HE paints monkeys carefully tending to grooming kitty customers in a Baroque era barbershop this side of the BEST. ACID.TRIP. EVER!!!!!

This one is only 9×12 inches or so in actuality, making it probably smaller than your computer screen. He might like silly subject matter, but his ability to cram small details into the space is up there with other Northern European artists.

Love that cat in the center, admiring himself and his new look in the hand mirror. Bet he leaves a nice tip. And check out Puss ‘n’ Boots coming through the door in the back. Famous, yes, but did he book an appointment? The place is packed. Every cat needs a haircut to look good at Rembrandt’s cat’s bar mitzvah that weekend.

Okay, maybe that’s from MY acid trip.


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