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Adriaen van Ostade

(1610–1685, Haarlem)

Mother with Two Children. Etching. 8.8 x 7 cm. Circa 1675. B. 14, Dutuit III, Davidson, Godefroy, Hollstein 14 IV (of VI).

The intimate nature of this idyllic family scene with a peasant woman and her two children is typical of Adriaen van Ostade’s printed work. The woman has tenderly seated the smaller of the two children on a half-open wooden door and is keeping a protective hold on it, while the older sister standing outside is carefully trying to take its little hand. Produced by the artist around 1675, the print is on offer here in the fourth state, described by Godefroy as “extrèmement rare (RRR)”, before the addition of the fine lines on the girl’s right hand in the foreground. Two drawings in reverse by Ostade, which are closely related to the present etching, are now in the Frits Lugt Collection in Paris and the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York. A very fine, contemporary impression printed with delicate tone and with thread margins around the platemark. Minimal traces of handling, otherwise in excellent condition. From the collections of Sir Joshua Reynolds, London (Lugt 2364), William Esdaile, London (Lugt 2617) and Paolo Giordani, Reggio Emilia (Lugt 3688).

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