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ADRIAEN JANSZ. VAN OSTADE (Haarlem 1610-1685)
ADRIAEN JANSZ. VAN OSTADE (Haarlem 1610-1685)
ADRIAEN JANSZ. VAN OSTADE (Haarlem 1610-1685)
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ADRIAEN JANSZ. VAN OSTADE (Haarlem 1610-1685)
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ADRIAEN JANSZ. VAN OSTADE (Haarlem 1610-1685)

A kitchen interior with a mother and child

ADRIAEN JANSZ. VAN OSTADE (Haarlem 1610-1685)
A kitchen interior with a mother and child
the coat-of-arms of the Van Doerne family on the woven cushion (centre)
oil on panel
12 3/8 x 9 7/8 in. (31.5 x 25 cm.)
Dr Leon Lilienfeld (1869-1938), Vienna and Milan, by 1917, and by inheritance to his wife,
Mrs Antonie Lilienfeld-Schulz (1876-1972), Winchester MA; (†) her sale, Sotheby Parke-Bernet, New York, 17 May 1972 (=1st day), lot 14.
with Brod Gallery, London, by 1975, where acquired, and by descent to the present owners.
G. Glück, Niederländische Gemälde aus der Sammlung des Herrn Dr. Leon Lilienfeld in Wien, Vienna, 1917, pp. 24 and 55, no. 50, as 'ein kleines Meisterwerk, das einem malerisch empfindenden Auge in der Tat mehr bietet als manche figurenreiche Komposition' ('a small masterpiece that indeed offers more to the painterly eye than many figurative compositions').

Brought to you by

Clementine Sinclair
Clementine Sinclair Specialist, Head of Evening Sale

Lot Essay

Ostade was one of the foremost genre painters of seventeenth-century Holland, recorded as having started his career as a pupil of Frans Hals in Haarlem, concurrently with Adriaen Brouwer. Following Brouwer's influence, Ostade had initially adopted a satirical, almost caricatured, manner in his painting, but from the 1640s onwards he began to endow his low-life protagonists with increasing degrees of restraint and dignity, his palette becoming richer and his detail stronger.
This charming, diminutively scaled domestic interior scene belongs to a homogenous group of roughly half a dozen still life paintings which are either seen from the interior of a rustic cottage or a courtyard, often with one or two figures in the background. The extreme rarity of these works within Ostade’s oeuvre is confirmed by the fact that only two such works were known to John Smith at the time of his publication on the artist (J. Smith, A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch, Flemish and French Painters, London, 1829, I, p. 153, nos. 167-168). Nearly a century later, Cornelis Hofstede de Groot added a further two, both on a somewhat larger scale, one of which is today in the Kunstmuseum, Basel (C. Hofstede de Groot, A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch Painters of the Seventeenth Century, London, 1910, III, pp. 423-425, nos. 916-919). In 1956, J.W. von Moltke identified a fifth example, then in the collection of Mrs J. Tresfon in Cape Province (J.W. von Moltke, ‘Courtyard with Still-Life by A. van Ostade’, Oud-Holland, LXXI, 1956, pp. 244-245, fig. 1; sold Christie’s, London, 9 April 1990, lot 5).
Like the majority of works in this group, the present painting is neither signed nor dated – only the example formerly in the collection of Michel van Gelder at Zeecrabbe Castle in Uccle bears a signature (C. Hofstede de Groot, op. cit., p. 424, no. 917). On account of the repetition of several elements in multiple paintings and the similarity of handling and light, von Moltke rightly suggested that the paintings were all likely produced around the same time. He further believed them to be late works datable to the 1670s on account of perceived similarities between the handling of the foliage and the inclusion of a nearly identical pump and broom in Ostade’s 1671 etching of a cobbler and a man smoking (Hollstein 27; J.W. von Moltke, loc. cit.). However, a somewhat earlier dating to the late 1650s, a period in which Ostade’s work becomes increasingly detailed and his handling more refined, seems more likely.
This revised dating may have further implications for our understanding of the painting. Jan van Helmont, to whom we are grateful, has recently identified the coat-of-arms on the woven cushion in the painting’s foreground as belonging to the Van Doerne family (private correspondence, 10 May 2021). The family had its origins in Deurne in North Brabant, where in the late Middle Ages they were given a ‘heerlijkheid’, or lordship, by the Duke of Brabant. By the early seventeenth century, the family’s power and influence had begun to wane. Following the death of Jan van Doerne in 1606, the family’s manor and castles passed to the van Wittenhorst family through marriage. In 1653 they lost their lordship and, four years later, the rights to the Blokhuis in Liessel as well. Adriaen van Ostade’s father Jan Hendricx Ostade was a weaver from the hamlet of Ostade near Eindhoven in Brabant, very close to Deurne. The families may have been connected in some way, possibly the cushion was a family heirloom from that period.
We are grateful to Jan van Helmont for his assistance cataloguing this lot.

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