OSTADE, Adriaen Jansz. van
(b. 1610, Haarlem, d. 1685, Haarlem)

Portrait of a Family

Oil on wood, 70 x 88 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

The grotesque peasants carousing, brawling, or engaged in swinish gluttony in disorderly hovels are characteristic of Ostade's boisterous work of his early phase. In the 1640s his interiors gain in spaciousness and atmosphere. By the middle of the century Ostade had changed to a more idyllic style. His figures became calmer and more respectable. There is a new emphasis on local colour and an orderly arrangement. The reason for the shift in Ostade's mood has not been established. Perhaps it is related to a change in his clientele, to his own conception of himself, and his ideas about his task as an artist.