Adriaen van Ostade was born at Haarlem in 1610, admitted as a master painter in 1634, he was married in 1638, and a second time, to an heiress at Amsterdam, in 1657. No less than three times the guild chose him as headman. He died at a good old age in 1685 and was honourably buried in the Church of St. Bavon.
Ostade learned from two exuberant geniuses of 17th century Dutch painting, the portraitist Frans Hals (1582-1666) and genre painter Adriaen Brouwer (1605-38). In his extraordinarily thoughtful and skilful handling of the new aesthetic of Protestant
Reformation art, everything is for character and truthfulness and nothing for show. His genre-painting charmingly combines ready sympathy of observation with reflection.
His subject is the peasant or workman in moments of ease or recreation – dancing, singing, drinking, fighting, merely loafing in his dooryard. Such as can be seen in this lovely drawing.
Van Ostade’s productivity was remarkable. His known works include more than eight hundred paintings, about fifty etchings, and numerous drawings, some of which are worked up with watercolor. The vast majority of this oeuvre consists of genre scenes, but he also produced a small number of portraits and history paintings.
It is likely that Van Ostade’s younger brother Isack van Ostade (Dutch, 1621 – 1649) was an early pupil, and other artists who may have studied with him include Jan Steen (Dutch, 1625/1626 – 1679), Cornelis Bega (Dutch, 1631/1632 – 1664), Michiel van Musscher (1645–1705), and Cornelis Dusart (Dutch, 1660 – 1704).
One of the most consistent of Dutch Old Masters, the ideal behind Adriaen van Ostade’s art is that of a humorous poetizing of the peasant at ease – an exaltation of the peasant’s canniness and ready friendliness. It is enough to make him one of the most companionable of painters, as he was one of the most delicately conscientious of technicians. Adriaen van Ostade died in April, 1685, having apparently been inactive for the last ten years or so of his life. He left to his only daughter, Maria, a handsome inheritance and no less than two hundred of his unsold pictures. There seems to have been no element of struggle in his life, and his fine art painting is rather fastidious than strenuous. Within its limitations it is quite perfect. Works by Adriaen van Ostade can be seen in the best art museums across Europe.
– Sotheby’s New York, 2009;
– private collection, The Netherlands;
In 2009 Dr. B. Schnackenburg, Kassel has kindly suggested the attribution and possibly from the 1630s