Gabriel Metsu - As the Old Sang, So the Young Pipe - image-1

Lot 1080 Dα

Gabriel Metsu - As the Old Sang, So the Young Pipe

Auction 1049 - overview Cologne
16.05.2015, 11:00 - Old Master & 19th Century Paintings, Drawings
Estimate: 60.000 € - 70.000 €
Result: 117.800 € (incl. premium)

Gabriel Metsu

As the Old Sang, So the Young Pipe

Oil on canvas (relined). 51 x 42 cm.
Signed upper left: G Metsu (written on a piece of paper on the wall "Soo de ouden songen, soo piepen de jongen")..

The subject of Gabriel Metsu's As the Old Sang, So the Young Pipe (Soo de ouden songen, soo piepen de jongen), a Dutch proverb that mocks the way in which children imitate adults, is inscribed on the sheet of paper in the top left corner. The painting dates from the artist's first years in Amsterdam, where he had taken up residence in the mid-1650s. Metsu's move from his town of birth Leiden to Amsterdam had a dramatic impact on his career. He shifted from large biblical and mythological scenes in the manner of Nicolaus Knupfer and Jan-Baptist Weenix to more intimate genre scenes influenced by Gerrit Dou. As the Old Sang, So the Young Pipe is strongly reminiscent of Dou's depictions of old people in ramshackle interiors. The subject matter, however, did not derive from Dou. Instead Metsu's painting calls to mind works by Jan Steen and Jacob Jordaens, both of whom repeatedly painted this proverb. However, it lacks the boisterous atmosphere that characterises Steen's and Jordaens's paintings, exemplifying Metsu's tendency to soften emotions.
We would like to thank Dr. Adriaan E. Waiboer, Dublin, for this catalogue entry.


Léopold Joseph Cocquereau (Lugt 7147), sold in Brussels, 25th August 1806, lot 63. - Marquis de Garnay, Paris, 1907. - E. Deschaux, Paris, 1931. - Duc de Bojano, 1936. - Christie´s auction, London, 11.4.1975, lot 36. - Christie´s auction, London, 9.7.1976, lot 175. - With Gebr. Douwes , Amsterdam/London, c. 1980. - Private collection, Germany.


Adriaan E. Waiboer: Gabriel Metsu: Life and Work. A Catalogue Raisonné, no. A-24 (to be published in summer 2012).


Gebr. Douwes, London 1980, no. 6, with ill.