Cornelis Troost 'Nemo Loquebatur' ('No one was speaking')
These five pastels belong together. They form a humorous story that shows a group of distinguished gentlemen having a sociable evening, which starts off respectably and gradually gets completely out of hand through drink. The name of the series, NELRI, is a composition of the initials of the five Latin titles at the tops of the frames.
Here, Troost did not work in oil but in gouache (opaque watercolour with gum arabic) and pastel (soft chalk). This technique was very popular in the eighteenth century.
at right, in the upper part of the wainscoting: C. Troost / 1740
Theodoor van Snakenburg, Leiden, 1740-1750; Jan Tak, Leiden, in or before 1774-1780 (bought for 3,000 guilders); his sale, Zoeterwoude, 5 September 1781 (Lugt 3295), nos. 118-122 (bought in for 2,030 guilders; his widow); Jan Arnout Bennet (son-in-law of Tak), Leiden; his sale, Leiden, 1 April 1829 (Lugt 11989), no. 60 (bought in for 1,600 guilders); purchased, 1829