View full screen - View 1 of Lot 101. ADRIAEN JANSZ. VAN OSTADE  |  A PEASANT IN A WINDOW SMOKING A PIPE.
101

ADRIAEN JANSZ. VAN OSTADE | A PEASANT IN A WINDOW SMOKING A PIPE

Estimate:

40,000

to
- 60,000 USD

Property from Bijl-Van Urk, Alkmaar

101

102

ADRIAEN JANSZ. VAN OSTADE | A PEASANT IN A WINDOW SMOKING A PIPE

ADRIAEN JANSZ. VAN OSTADE | A PEASANT IN A WINDOW SMOKING A PIPE

Estimate:

40,000

to
- 60,000 USD

Lot sold:

43,750

USD

Property from Bijl-Van Urk, Alkmaar

ADRIAEN JANSZ. VAN OSTADE

Haarlem 1610 - 1685

A PEASANT IN A WINDOW SMOKING A PIPE


signed and dated lower left: Av(in ligature) ostade / 1654

oil on panel

unframed: 11 x 8½ in.; 28 x 21.8 cm.

framed: 17½x 15 in.; 44.5 x 38.1 cm.

The panel is flat, stable, and cradled on the reverse. The image reads well beneath clear varnish with some impasto retained in the upper left corner. Under UV inspection, scattered retouching is visible, concentrated in the dark background, small dots on the man’s sleeve, and in the window panes at right. A few dots of retouching around the man’s face and hat are well applied and not visible to the naked eye. Painting can hang in its current state. Offered in a decoratively carved giltwood frame.


The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

Private collection, Germany;

By whom sold, Berlin, Galerie Bassenge, 29 November 2018, lot 6032;

There acquired. 

"The master narrator Ostade was able to tell an entire story in a painting of a single figure, here a one man show whose proscenium is a window opening, his props a clay pipe and the vine growing above his head, its unseen grapes the indirect cause of his ruddy cheeks."


George Gordon



This witty and hitherto unpublished small panel is typical for Ostade, the chief of Dutch peasant genre painting in the seventeenth century. According to his biographer Arnold Houbraken, Ostade was a pupil of Frans Hals at the same time as Adriaen Brouwer. While Hals does not seem to have exerted noticeable influence on Ostade, Brouwer on the other hand, having quickly developed as the heir of Bruegelian peasant art, became pivotal. By the early 1630s, Ostade had already established a reputation of his own outside his native Haarlem, having registered with the Haarlem guild of St. Luke in 1634. Ostade thus began his career painting scenes of brawling and gambling peasants in a restricted palette of browns, strongly indebted to those of Brouwer. Although taverns, barns and cottages populated with peasants remained his favorite subject, his raucous atmospheres began to be replaced by more tranquil scenes during the 1640s and he enriched his stock of settings with placid domestic courtyards and doorways. In these later works Ostade limited the number of protagonists. Simultaneously, his technique and coloring grew ever more refined. Ostade’s mature genre productions convey an idealized view of peasant life in which the characters are friendly and caring individuals. The present panel is a highly characteristic and fine example. 


In Ostade’s day smoking tobacco was a still relatively new habit and elicited diverse responses. Some seventeenth-century doctors recommended it as a health product, attributing medicinal properties to the weed. Preachers condemned smoking because of its harmful intoxicant effects and equated it with the excessive use of alcohol. Smokers figuring in seventeenth-century imagery could convey an array of meanings. A smoker could represent one of the five senses. The quickly vanishing smoke was also likened to the evanescence of life and thus a thankful vanitas motif. Low-life genre scenes, such as those by Brouwer and Ostade, typically satirize the immoderate pursuit of sensual gratification. In Adriaen van Ostade’s universe, smoking, along with drinking, singing and wooing, are the main activities of his protagonists. In his later paintings, such as the present work, the artist views these peasants indulging in this pastime with an eye of clemency instead of stern disapproval.