Franciscus Melzer (1808-1865) Tavern scene with a cat that gives out a scratch
Signed lowerright corner F. Melzer
Oil on mahogany wooden panel
Dimensions excl. frame: 35.5 x 47.5 cm.
Dimensions incl. frame: 62 x 74 cm.
In elaborate gilt frame Condition:
Belgian artist, Franciscus Melzer, was born in Antwerp and primarily painted genre scenes, portraits and still lifes. His scenes often depicted groups of rowdy revellers either drinking or feasting. He was active from approx. 1840 to 1860 and worked in the painting tradition of the Flemish masters of the 17th and 18th century. The faces of his characters reminiscent of the almost caricatural faces of those of the paintings of Bruegel. Meltzer was fond of sketches full of humor, which is portayed in this painting. The gentleman in the centre takes of his hat and and screams in shock by what is unfolding in front of him. A cat sitting on the table scratches his hand. The rest of the company can’t hold back their laughter, the lady in the background watches the scene from a distance. This type of genre of paintings often also had a moralizing message, such as ‘When you get into mischief you can expect to get scratched’.