National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of The Cottage Dooryard Adriaen van Ostade (artist)
Dutch, 1610 - 1685
The Cottage Dooryard, 1673
oil on canvas
overall: 44 x 39.5 cm (17 5/16 x 15 9/16 in.) framed: 74.3 x 69.2 x 7.6 cm (29 1/4 x 27 1/4 x 3 in.)
Widener Collection
1942.9.48
On View
From the Tour: Johannes Vermeer and Dutch Scenes of Daily Life in the 1600s
Object 3 of 8

In contrast to the paved, urban gardens portrayed by Pieter de Hooch, this country cottage has only a dirt yard, where the wife cleans mussels for dinner. Laundry dries on a line attached to a shed, which also supports a pigeon coop, and the shelf by the door holds beehives. The clinging vines may allude to family unity.

In addition to such touching and dignified portrayals of peasants, Van Ostade painted bawdy scenes of taverns and barns. He entered the Haarlem guild in 1634, probably after studying under Frans Hals. Adriaen van Ostade, a portrait of this artist by Hals, is part of the Gallery’s collection.

Adriaen van Ostade's students included Jan Steen and his younger brother Isack van Ostade, whose own scenes of village life can be seen at the National Gallery of Art. Both Van Ostade brothers' attention to textures is remarkable. Even such common surfaces as thatched roofs, crumbling bricks, and cracked window panes are forcefully described.

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