Adriaen van Ostade - A Fiddler among Peasants
Adriaen van Ostade
A Fiddler among Peasants
Oil on panel. 35 x 46.5 cm.
Signed and dated lower right: Ostade 1644.
"This interior scene depicts a happy round of five peasants drinking and smoking around a table. A musician with a violin approaches from the right, and in the foreground we see a young boy feeding a dog whilst a peasant woman feeds her child in the background.
At the time that Adriaen van Ostade painted this work in 1644, his teacher, the great Fans Hals, had recently been appointed head of the Haarlem Guild of Painters. Whilst Frans Hals mainly focused on portraiture, the Haarlem born Ostade successfully pursued the peasant genre. In the mid-1640s, his well-established peasant motifs began to change noticeably. His detailed depictions of peasant life in which he combined figures, light and space so ingeniously into harmonious arrangements began to reflect a changing perception of the social group which they portrayed. The excessive depiction of moralising themes with vices such as drunkenness and sloth leading to loss of self control that had featured so heavily in his earlier works was only latently present. Negative perceptions slowly changed to a more sympathetic view of the peasants, and the previous vice motifs morphed into praise of the peasant classes bordering on glorification (cf. B. Schnackenburg: Das Bild des bäuerlichen Lebens bei Adriaen van Ostade. In Vekeman/Müller Hofstede: Wort und Bild 1984, p. 31 -42)."
Walther Bernd, Munich, 16.6.1972.
Auctioned by G. T. Braine in London in 1857 (110 pounds). - Thomas Howard, London 1873. - C. Sedelmeyer gallery, Paris. - Acquired there in 1883. - The Weber collection, Hamburg, 1907. - Lempertz, Cologne, 08.05.1921, no. 1 (10,000 RM). - De Boer art dealers, Amsterdam, 1970. - Müllenmeister gallery, Solingen. - Acquired there in 1972. - Subsequently in a German private collection.
Pflugh-Hartung, Repert. für Kunstwissenschaft, 1885, VIII, p. 89. - Katalog der Sammlung Weber, Hamburg 1907. - Hofstede de Groot: Beschreibendes und kritisches Verzeichnis der Werke der hervorragendsten Maler des 17. Jahrhunderts, 1910, vol. III, no. 534.
Clemens-Sels-Museum Neuss: Von Pieter Brueghel bis Gerard Terborch. Niederländische Meister aus eigenem Bestand und rheinischem Privatbesitz, 9.11.1986 - 11.1.1987, no. 38.