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Three Peasants at an Inn

Adriaen van Ostade1647

Dulwich Picture Gallery

Dulwich Picture Gallery
London, United Kingdom

Ostade was a pupil of the great portrait painter Frans Hals in Haarlem, but his early works more closely resemble those of his workshop contemporary Adriane Brouwer (See Interior of a Tavern DPG108 nearby). The two artists are well-known for their interior scenes of taverns, which often contain raucous, squabbling peasants.

Around Ostade's mid-career, he moved away from depicting large groups of figures to smaller gatherings such as here. The peasants seem to enjoy one another's company, playing music and drinking beer.

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  • Title: Three Peasants at an Inn
  • Date: 1647
  • Physical Dimensions: w216 x h271 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil
  • Work Nationality: Dutch
  • Support: Panel
  • Provenance: ?London, Noel Desenfans, 1795-1807: ?London, Desenfans sale, Skinner and Dyke, 28 Feb. 1795, lot 54 ('Boors Singing'); London, Sir Francis Bourgeois, by 1811; Bourgeois Bequest, 1811.
  • Inscriptions: Av ostade
  • Further Information: "A pupil of Frans Hals (1581/5-1666), Adriane van Ostade was a Dutch painter, draughtsman and etcher based in Haarlem. He was renowned for his close—and often critical—observation of everyday life, and his œuvre consists mainly of two themes: peasant feasts, usually in taverns, and more sedate scenes of peasants at rest. While the other pictures by Adriane van Ostade in the Dulwich collection are late works, his Three Peasants at an Inn was painted in the middle of his long career, in 1647. Around this time he began to move away from multi-figure scenes to smaller groups such as this. In this work, three peasants gather around a small table at a modest inn. Though carefully observed, their exaggerated postures and expressions of the peasants offer a critique of their immoral conduct, as they are shown indulging in tobacco, beer and music. It clearly demonstrates Ostade’s skills as a colourist, as he places his figures in dark settings and uses chiaroscuro and careful local colour to animate the scene. Three Peasants at an Inn was a celebrated picture, and was engraved under the title Jan de Moff by Jonas Suyderhoef, who produced a series of engravings after Adriane van Ostade. "
  • Artist: van Ostade, Adriaen
  • Acquisition Method: Bourgeois, Sir Peter Francis (Bequest, 1811)

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