recto © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Gallery Text

Adriaen van Ostade was the preeminent Dutch painter of scenes from the lives of peasants and the urban poor. He sketched this seated drinker in an album of 52 vellum leaves of uniform size in a plain black leather binding. Forty-one full-page drawings are executed directly onto the bound sheets — some on the front, some on the back of a leaf. They include signed or securely attributed works by 27 draftsmen and 2 who remain unidentified. Some artists, including Van Ostade, added two or three works to the album. The drawings illustrate subjects ranging from religious and mythological themes to genre scenes, landscapes, single figures, heads, animals, and still lifes. The identity of the album’s original owner is not known for certain, but circumstantial evidence points to Pieter Spiering (c. 1595–1652), who lived in Delft and The Hague and amassed a renowned collection of drawings and prints.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
1999.123.10
People
Adriaen van Ostade, Dutch (Haarlem 1610 - 1685 Haarlem)
Title
Seated Peasant Drinking; verso: Blank page
Classification
Drawings
Work Type
drawing, album page
Date
c. 1637
Culture
Dutch
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Black chalk on vellum
Dimensions
15.2 × 11 cm (6 × 4 5/16 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: Lower right, black chalk: Av [in ligature] Ostade
Provenance
Possibly Pieter Spiering, Delft and The Hague. Private collection, United Kingdom, sold; [private sale, via Sotheby’s, London]; to Maida and George Abrams, Boston, 1987 (L. 3306, without their mark); The Maida and George Abrams Collection, 1999.123.10
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
The Maida and George Abrams Collection, Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Accession Year
1999
Object Number
1999.123.10
Division
European and American Art
Contact
am_europeanamerican@harvard.edu
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Descriptions
Description
This sheet forms part of a seventeenth-century Dutch album, in its original binding, which contains 41 small, full-page drawings on vellum by more than 27 different artists.
Publication History

Anna Knaap, "From Lowlife to Rustic Idyll: The Peasant Genre in 17th-Century Dutch Drawings and Prints", exh. cat., Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 1996), cat. no. 44, p. 58

William W. Robinson, "The Abrams Album: An 'Album Amicorum' of Dutch Drawings from the Seventeeth Century", Master Drawings (Spring 2015), LIII, no. 1, pp. 3-58, pp. 15-16, repr. p. 15 as fig. 13

Stijn Alsteens, [Review] William W. Robinson, with Susan Anderson, "Drawings from the Age of Bruegel, Rubens, and Rembrandt: Highlights from the Collection of the Harvard Art Museums", Master Drawings (Winter 2015), LIII, no. 4, pp. 531-534, p. 532

William W. Robinson and Susan Anderson, Drawings from the Age of Bruegel, Rubens, and Rembrandt: Highlights from the Collection of the Harvard Art Museums, Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2016), p. 20; cat. no. 62, pp. 213-215, repr. p. 214

Exhibition History

From Lowlife to Rustic Idyll: The Peasant Genre in 17th-Century Dutch Drawings and Prints, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 03/29/1997 - 06/22/1997

Drawings from the Age of Bruegel, Rubens, and Rembrandt, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 05/21/2016 - 08/14/2016

Subjects and Contexts

Dutch, Flemish, & Netherlandish Drawings

Related Works

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of European and American Art at am_europeanamerican@harvard.edu