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A Conversation in a Palace Courtyard

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A Conversation in a Palace Courtyard Dated 1644

Not on display

Typical of Van Delen’s views of palace courtyards, this painting contains a wealth of ornate architectural features. Such pictures were popular throughout Europe amongst the wealthy and educated elite. The complex perspective appealed to those who were intellectually versed in mathematical rules, and the array of architectural elements allowed the viewer to explore their knowledge of classical architecture. The grand interior also provided an element of escapism, a fantasy of a magnificent palace that looked real, but was in fact a desirable fiction. The sculpture of Venus and Cupid in the niche above the figures derives from a print by Marcantonio Raimondi after Raphael. Although the figures were once ascribed to David Teniers the Younger, they are now believed to be by Van Delen himself.

Glossary Open


A general term for art and architecture based on ancient Greek and Roman culture.


The principle of representing depth on a flat surface so that items further away from the eye appear smaller and parallel lines appear to converge.

Classicism, Perspective


  • Acc. No. NG 111
  • Medium Oil on panel
  • Size 54.00 x 47.00 cm
  • Credit Purchased by the RI 1830; transferred 1859