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Three men are sitting round a small table. One is lighting his pipe and another is puffing on his, while the third raises his glass in a toast. There are coals on the table to keep the pipes alight. The men keep their stash of smoking supplies in the white piece of paper. This painting was made more than 350 years ago by the Dutch artist David Teniers the Younger (1610-1690), a contemporary of Rembrandt. The men are smoking cannabis, which was quite common in the Netherlands back then.
But there are many more traces of the cannabis plant in this painting. The men are wearing clothes made from hemp textiles. The piece of paper on the table and the cards the group in the background are playing with would have been made from hemp rags. The alcove in the back wall contains a bottle of hemp oil for oil lamps. The artist may well have used hemp oil as a binding medium for his paint. What is more, many paintings in those days used fabric made from hemp. The fabric is also called a canvas, which comes from the word cannefas, or cannabis. In short, this painting shows the many uses of the cannabis plant as well as being a masterpiece of Dutch art.
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