Dusart was born in Haarlem in 1660, the son of a church organist. In his late teens, he studied painting with Van Ostade, and his earliest works relied heavily on his teacher’s compositions. After Van Ostade’s death in 1685, Dusart took over the contents of the studio and owned both Adriaen’s works and those of Van Ostade’s brother, Isack.
Dusart’s depictions of peasants drinking and carousing were probably not intended as moral lessons about vice, but rather, served as a form of comedy. The satirical side of Dusart’s art reflected popular theater, and his published prints had an impact on Dutch caricature. By his death in 1704, Dusart had acquired a remarkable collection by the Italian and Dutch artists who most inspired him.
This work was finished in 1685, the year in which Dusart inherited the contents of the studio of his master Adriaen van Ostade. Dusart was the most celebrated pupil of Van Ostade. Van Ostade left a number of unfinished painting behind, some of which Dusart completed. The experience had a profound influence on his work.
The pose of the man, standing on the left, relates to a grey ink and black chalk drawing of a hurdy gurdy player by Dusart, signed and dated 1695, in the Art Institute of Chicago.
The admiration for this painting started early on, when Le Brun Galerie had an engraving made by the artist Robert Daudet in 1787.
sale Le Brun Galerie, 1787;
private collection Praslin, Paris
private collection Audry, Paris
with Douwes Fine Art, shown at TEFAF, Maastricht, 2010;
private collection, The Netherlands.