Wednesday 16 November 2022

Lot 37

Adriaen Jansz. van Ostade,   Dutch 1610-1685-   A Peasant man wearing a cap...

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Lot 37

Adriaen Jansz. van Ostade,
Dutch 1610-1685-
A Peasant man wearing a cap...

Price Realised: £10,400

Estimate: £8,000 - £12,000

Price realised is hammer price plus fees (30% Buyers Premium inclusive of VAT).

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Lot 37


Adriaen Jansz. van Ostade,


Dutch 1610-1685-


A Peasant man wearing a cap and holding a jug;


oil on panel, bears wax seal on the reverse, 18.2 x 15.6 cm.


Provenance: [Traditionally] Collection of J. Danser Nijman, Amsterdam, 1797.; [Traditionally] Their sale, Amsterdam, 16 August 1797, lot 396.; Private Collection, UK.; with Alfred Brod Gallery, London.; Private Collection, UK, since 1967.; By descent.


Literature: [Traditionally] Cornelis Hofstede de Groot, A Catalogue Raisonné of the Most Eminent Dutch Painters of the Seventeenth Century, Vol.III, London, 1910, p.188, no.159a, as 'A Peasant with a Jug' (and signed in full).


Note: We are grateful to Dr Bernhard Schnackenburg and Dr Fred Meijer for confirming the attribution of the present lot.


This intimate depiction of a peasant man relates to a small group of studies of single figure peasants executed by Adriaen van Ostade in the 1640s. These were intended not as portraits but as studies of physical types and expression, and should be viewed in the context of earlier sixteenth-century comic low-life traditions and strongly caricatured peasant types, in particular the bust-length studies by Pieter Breueghel the Elder (c.1525-1569). Overall, in subject matter and restrained palette, the present work further recalls the works of Adriaen Brouwer (1605/6-1638), the heir of Bruegelian peasant art, who had a strong influence on the young Ostade. Ostade's tender treatment of his subject, however, marks an altogether novel approach. This has been noted by Peter Sutton who has observed, with reference to another small-scale study of a peasant: 'Ostade offers a sensitive image of the lined face of a farmer, without ridicule or condescension. Such empathy for the lower classes was new.' (P. Sutton, catalogue of the Collection of Willem Baron van Dedem, 2002, p.180, under no.38).


In Ostades paintings with single figures, including the present work, the artist often employed a broad and thick manner of painting, very much also recalling the loosely rendered tronies executed in the 1630s by Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606-1669) and Jan Lievens (1607-1674). In this striking work, the head and shoulders of a man turned to the right are viewed against a grey background. He has short brown hair and a beard, wears a blue-grey coat and cap, and holds an earthenware jug. Ostades ability to capture the expression of the peasant so accurately with such a limited palette and a few cursory brushstrokes is evidence of his effortless skill, even at this relatively early stage in his career. For comparison, see the artists similarly sized Head of a Laughing Peasant at the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen [no.1642], conceived in 1646. The present work can be dated a little later, to around 1650.

Buyer's Premium

The buyer shall pay the hammer price together with a premium thereon of 26% up to £20,000 (31.2% inclusive of VAT), 25% from £20,001 - £500,000 (30% inclusive of VAT), 20% from £500,001 thereafter (24% inclusive of VAT). The premium price is subject to VAT at the standard rate.

VAT is not charged on the hammer price unless it is stated that there is 'VAT applicable on the hammer price at the end of the description. Buyer's premium is subject to VAT.

Qualifying living artists and the descendants of artists deceased within the last 70 years are entitled to receive a re-sale royalty each time their work is bought through an auction house or art market professional.

It applies to lots with hammer value over €1,000 as follows:
0 to €50,000 - 4%, €50,000.01 to €200,000 - 3%
€200,000.01 to €350,000 - 1%,
€350,000.01 to €500,000 - 0.5%
Exceeding €500,000 - 0.25%
ARR is capped at €12,500

Please note ARR is calculated in euros. Auctioneers will apply current exchange rates.

Export of goods

Buyers intending to export goods should ascertain whether an export licence is required before bidding. Export licences are issued by Arts Council England and application forms can be obtained from its Export Licensing Unit. Details can be found on the ACE website or by phoning ACE on 020 7973 5188. The need for import licences varies from country to country and you should acquaint yourself with all relevant local requirements and provisions before bidding. The refusal of any such licences shall not permit the cancelling of any sale nor allow any delay in making full payment for the lot.

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