Hendrick ter Brugghen (1588–1629) was one of the leading “Utrecht Caravaggisti”, a school of Dutch painters who, like many of their contemporaries, flocked to Rome in the early 1600s, where they developed a style inspired by the drama and naturalism of the paintings by Italian artist Michelangelo Merisi, known as Caravaggio (1571–1610). Ter Brugghen painted The Merry Drinker in 1627, at the height of his career. It is the collection’s only work by the artist. Together with two “merry company” scenes by his Utrecht colleague Gerard van Honthorst (1592–1656), the painting is the focal point of the All Eyes On presentation on the theme of “Sensual Pleasures”.
All Eyes On highlights a work or group of works, a significant artist personality or artistic position, guest appearances by individual loans, important restorations, or new acquisitions in the midst of the gallery. The artistic as well as technical qualities of the paintings, their content and significance, their history of creation and impact, and their creators are illuminated in the context of the collection. This opens up new, current perspectives and diverse insights into the research work at the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen.