About the artist:
Adriaen van Ostade (Adriaen Hendricx) was born in 1610 in Haarlem. His father, Jan Hendricx, came from Ostade near Eindhoven, and his sons, Adriaen and Isaack, adopted this name as painters. In 1627, Adriaen was a pupil of Frans Hals, and, in 1634 joined the Lukas Guild in Haarlem of which he was later the head, in 1647, 1661 and 1662. About 1638 or 1640, the influence of Rembrandt suddenly changed his style. He painted the Annunciation of the Brunswick Museum: angels, appearing in the sky to Dutch boors half-asleep amidst their cattle, sheep and dogs in front of a cottage, recall at once the similar subject by Rembrandt, who effectively lighted the principal groups by rays propelled to earth from a murky sky. Ostade, however, did not succeed here in giving dramatic force and expression; his shepherds were without much emotion, passion or surprise. His picture was an effect of light, and masterly as such, in its sketchy rubbings of dark brown tone relieved by strongly impasted lights, but without the very qualities which made his usual subjects attractive. In 1642 he painted the beautiful interior at the Louvre: a mother tending her cradled child, her husband sitting nearby, beside a great chimney; the darkness of a country loft dimly illumined by a sunbeam shining on the casement. One might think the painter intended to depict the Nativity; but there is nothing holy in the surroundings, nothing attractive, indeed, except the wonderful Rembrandtesque transparency, the brownish tone, and the admirable keeping of the minutest parts. Ostade was more at home in a similar effect applied to the commonplace incident of the Slaughtering of a Pig, one of the masterpieces of 1643, and once in the Gsell collection. He was one of the most popular Dutch painters, specializing from the start in genre painting of peasant life. In his early period, A. van Ostade was under the influence of A. Brouwer, in the 1640s of Rembrandt. From about 1650 his paintings turned more and more towards Delft genre painting, the interiors became more pleasant, and open-air scenes were added. At Amsterdam we have the likeness of a painter, sitting with his back to the spectator, at his easel. The colour-grinder is at work in a corner, a pupil prepares a palette, and a black dog sleeps on the ground. A replica of this picture, with the date 1666, is in the Dresden gallery. Both specimens are supposed to represent Ostade himself, but unfortunately we see the artist's back and not his face. In an etching (Bartsch, 32), the painter shows himself in profile at work on a canvas. Two of his latest dated works, the Village Street and the Skittle Players, noteworthy items in the Ashburton and Ellesmere collections, were executed in 1676 without any sign of declining powers. Adriaen van Ostade had many pupils and followers, the most important among them were his younger brother, Isack, Jan Steen, Cornelis Dusart, and Cornelis Pietersz Bega. The artist died in Haarlem in 1685.
Adriaen van Ostade (Adriaen Hendricx) was born in 1610 in Haarlem. His father, Jan Hendricx, came from Ostade near Eindhoven, and his sons, Adriaen and Isaack, adopted this name as painters. In 1627, Adriaen was a pupil of Frans Hals, and, in 1634