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The table at which the two men are playing appears to have been about five metres long, placed under a specially constructed shelter in the courtyard. In the left foreground is a court where pall mall, a forerunner of croquet, was played with sticks and large wooden balls. The artist’s lively scene of peasants drinking, smoking, relaxing and gaming in the courtyard of an inn would have been construed by contemporary viewers as an amusing but moralising depiction of idle time-wasters.
  • Date


  • Medium

    oil on oak panel

  • Measurements

    33.7 x 47 cm

  • Accession number


  • Acquisition method

    management transferred from the Victoria and Albert Museum to English Heritage, 2004


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