A Guardroom Interior with a Seated Woman Amongst Plunder, Jacob DUCK

Jacob DUCK

A Guardroom Interior with a Seated Woman Amongst Plunder

Circa 1630s

Oil on panel, 43x34cm


Jacob Duck (1600–1667) was a Dutch Golden Age painter who specialized in guardroom interiors, or “cortegaerdje.” He was born in Utrecht, the Netherlands, and was a pupil of Pieter Codde.

Duck was the most successful exponent of the genre of guardroom interiors, where soldiers are depicted in the company of elegantly dressed ladies, often eating and drinking together in a highly social, merry setting. The genre originated in the 1620s in Amsterdam, where it enjoyed enormous popularity, its main exponents being Willem Cornelisz. Duyster and Pieter Codde. The latter’s studio produced a number of very accomplished practitioners in the genre, Jacob Duck amongst them. Duck rarely dated his pictures, but the costumes and silvery tonality of this work suggest a dating to the mid 1630s.

Duck’s paintings are characterized by their lively compositions, their realistic depiction of soldiers and ladies, and their use of light and shadow. He was a master of depicting the details of military uniforms and weapons, and his paintings often provide valuable insights into the life of soldiers in the Dutch Republic in the 17th century.

Duck was a successful painter during his lifetime, and his work was collected by many important patrons, including the Stadholder Frederik Hendrik of Orange. He died in Utrecht in 1667. Today his paintings can be found in the public collections of museum such as The Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City; The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and others.


Private collection, London (anonymous sale, “The Property of a Lady”), London, Sotheby’s, 16 April 1980, lot 4;
Galerie Sanct Lucas, Vienna, 2003; from whom purchased by a private collector);
Private collection, Zürich, Switzerland (acquired February, 1, 2013)


N. Salomon, Jacob Duck and the Gentrification of Dutch Genre Painting, Doornspijk 1998, p. 163, cat. no. 94 (as location unknown).


Galerie Sanct Lucas, Gemälde alter Meister: Winter 1980/81, no. 11 reproduced in the catalogue;
The Exhibition “Art Rules” organized by Art-Life Project in Tallinn Town Hall, 05.06.2015 – 05.10.2015, Estonia.

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