|"Interior of a Tavern with Five Peasants."|
Adriaen van Ostade
Purchased by King George IV, 1814
The Royal Collection
Image Courtesy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
The work of Adriaen van Ostade (1610-1685), this painting comes from Haarlem and dates to 1646. The canvas was purchased by King George IV from one Sir Thomas Baring and was one of a lot of eighty-six Flemish and Dutch works which the King had wanted for Carlton House in 1814.
Van Ostade, with this work, borrows from the artistic ideals of Adriaen Brouwer who was the first Dutch painter to introduce this sort of interior scene of comical peasant characters in a muddy setting.
These scenes were painted with hasty, loose brushstrokes which the artist used to suggest a variety of details. For example, in this composition, the tavern is obviously set up in a domestic setting as indicated by the bed at the rear of the scene. Furthermore, a child’s potty is visible behind the patron who holds his nose. This sort of appeal to all of the senses was typical of these genre paintings of the early Seventeenth Century. Most often, the senses that were at play were not entirely pleasant, but, rather strove to convey some sense of realism.