Matthijs Naiveu

b.1647, d.1726

Scene in a Tavern

  • Bequeathed by Archibald Claude Douglas Spencer to the Canterbury Society of Arts, 1931; given to the Gallery, 1932.
  • Oil on canvas
  • 660 x 600 x 100mm
  • 69/257
  • 1700-1715

Matthijs Naiveu studied under the leading seventeenth century Dutch painter Gerrit Dou (painter of The Physician). Naiveu’s tavern scene presents a moral lesson: the child implores his mother and a man who may be his father to put their intoxication aside, and give him a better chance in life.

This is one of many works presented to the Gallery by the Canterbury Society of Arts in 1932. It was bequeathed to the society by Scottish-born Major Archibald C. D. Spencer (1861–1929). Major Spencer retired from service with the Royal Irish Rifles in South Africa, Canada and Malta and settled at Mount Peel in South Canterbury.