Perhaps the Golden Age of Dutch painting got its name not only because it gave the world the great painters Rembrandt, Jan Vermeer, Frans Hals, Peter de Hoch and others, but also thanks to the appearance of the so-called "little Dutch". “Small” they are not by talent, but by small camera pictures, which were very popular among the local population.
One of the "small Dutch" is Adrian van Ostade. He was born in December 1610 in the city of Haarlem, in the family of a simple artisan. But, nevertheless, of the three sons, two became artists - Adrian and Isaac.
At 24, Adrian enters the Haarlem community of artists. In 1657 he marries. In 1662 he became the head of the Guild of Artists. These are, in fact, the main milestones of Adrian's life. But his creative path is much richer and more interesting.
Adrian was lucky to learn from the famous Frans Hals. Until almost 30 years old, he imitates him and draws paintings in his manner. Also influenced by the masterpieces of Rembrandt, Adrian begins to pay attention to the image of light and shadow, this important component in the painting, thanks to which the emotions of people become more lively, and the figures are more expressive. But it will be later.
In the meantime, the initial period of the work of Adrian van Ostade is characterized by small genre pictures from the life of ordinary people. The artist draws the figures of peasants, shopkeepers, dancers, drunkards, players and other common people with very clear contours, and the images turn out to be a bit sharp, but colorful.
Very interesting genre scenes come out from under the artist’s brush - with humor, sometimes with caustic sarcasm, with knowledge of the habits and customs of the local population. It is worth considering his picturesque paintings, such as “Quarrel”, “Peasants' revel in the tavern”, “Fight”, “Peasant in a red beret smoking a pipe” and it will be easy to imagine the mores of that time.
Gradually, Adrian's works acquire warmth and softness, the refinement of technique, the flight of the brush becomes free, subjects and compositional constructions become more thoughtful. The paintings also present humor and smiles.
And this second stage of the work of the already formed painter is marked by such canvases as “The Wandering Musician”, “The Peasant Paying Off Debts”, “Happy Peasants” and many other beautifully executed works.
Around 1649, Adrian van Ostade was already a mature artist, with tremendous capacity for work and with a recognizable style. The plots are almost the same as before - the way of life and life of people, but the execution of paintings is becoming more brilliant and more masterful: “Portrait of a family”, “Alchemist”, “Interior of a tavern with peasants drinking under the window”, “Village hotel”, “Yard” cottage "," Village violinist "," Teacher ". And also he draws many portraits.
Gorgeous is his self-portrait, written in 1663 - “Artist's Studio”. How wonderful the author conveys the general mood of a creative person, absorbed in his beloved business. Daylight penetrates the openwork of the mosaic and softly illuminates the workshop, various objects and the workplace of the creator. Everything is filled with warmth and harmony.
Adrian van Ostade died in the 75th year of his life in Haarlem, in the city from which he never left. But this did not stop him from becoming a world-famous artist.
Due to the fact that the Russian sovereign Peter I liked his works, the Dutchman's paintings appeared in the Hermitage of St. Petersburg. Also, these small format pictures have spread all over the world - the museums of Vienna, Munich, The Hague, Paris and even Penza can be proud that they have works by Adrian van Ostade in their arsenals.
The paintings are simple, sometimes naive, but so characteristic, funny, lively, with dancing, quarreling, walking or working as simple village people.