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Adriaen van Ostade

Adriaen van Ostade

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Adriaen van Ostade (baptized as Adriaen Jansz Hendricx 10 December 1610 – buried 2 May 1685) was a Dutch Golden Age painter of genre works.

According to Houbraken, he and his brother were pupils of Frans Hals and like him, spent most of their lives in Haarlem. He thought they were "Lubekkers" by birth, though this has since found to be false. He was the eldest son of Jan Hendricx Ostade, a weaver from the town of Ostade near Eindhoven. Although Adriaen and his brother Isaack were born in Haarlem, they adopted the name "van Ostade" as painters. According to the RKD, he became a pupil in 1627 of the portrait painter Frans Hals, at that time the master of Jan Miense Molenaer. In 1632 he is registered in Utrecht (where, like Jacob Duck, he was probably influenced by the village scenes of Joost Cornelisz Droochsloot, which were popular in his day), but in 1634 he was back in Haarlem where he joined the Haarlem Guild of St. Luke. At twenty-six he joined a company of the civic guard at Haarlem, and at twenty-eight he married. His wife died two years later in 1640. In 1657, "as a widower", he married Anna Ingels. He again became a widower in 1666. He opened a workshop and took on pupils. His notable pupils were Cornelis Pietersz Bega, Cornelis Dusart, Jan de Groot (1650-1726), Frans de Jongh, Michiel van Musscher, Isaac van Ostade, Evert Oudendijck, and Jan Steen.

In 1662 and again in 1663 he is registered as deacon of the St. Luke guild in Haarlem. In the rampjaar (1672) he packed up his goods with the intention of fleeing to Lübeck, which is why Houbraken felt he had family there. He got as far as Amsterdam, however, when he was convinced to stay by the art collector "Konstantyn Sennepart", in whose house he stayed, and where he made a series of colored drawings, that were later bought for 1300 florins (along with some drawings by Gerrit Battem) by Jonas Witsen (nl), where Houbraken saw them and fell in love with his portrayals of village life. Jonas Witsen (1676–1715) was the man who convinced Houbraken to move to Amsterdam from Dordrecht. He had been the city secretary, and was probably his patron. His successor, Johan van Schuylenburgh, who became city secretary in 1712, was the man to whom Houbraken dedicated the first volume of his Schouburg.

Ostade was the contemporary of the Flemish painters David Teniers the Younger and Adriaen Brouwer and . Like them, he spent his life in delineation of the homeliest subjects: tavern scenes, village fairs and country quarters. Between Teniers and Ostade the contrast lies in the different condition of the agricultural classes of Brabant and Holland and in the atmosphere and dwellings peculiar to each region. Brabant has more sun and more comfort; Teniers, in consequence, is silvery and sparkling, and the people he paints are fair specimens of their culture. Holland, in the vicinity of Haarlem, seems to have suffered much from war; the air is moist and hazy, and the people depicted by Ostade are short and ill-favoured, marked with adversity's stamp in feature and dress.

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