DUTCH MASTER ADRIAEN VAN OSTADE: 17THCENTURY DETAILS FOR OUR TIME
Look past the seventeenth-century clothing fashions, and figures in the earlier works of Dutch Master van Ostade could be modern inhabitants and visitors in Vegas.
These figures—and the scenes they inhabit—show evidence of the highest technical ability. As in works by Frans Hals (1582-1666) and by Rembrandt (1606-1669), van Ostade’s figures are gestural, at ease, and seem to be in motion.
Portraits of van Ostade show an observer of peasant life, rather than a participant. The evolution of content in van Ostade’s works is an echo of ever-growing prosperity the artist experienced during his life. As he became older and wealthier, van Ostade focused less on the depiction of peasants and pig killers, and more on professionals, such as lawyers.
Van Ostade’s portrayals of peasants reside today in several well-known museums, including the British Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the National Gallery of Art.