Reading the News at the Weavers' Cottage

Artist: Adriaen van Ostade (Dutch, Haarlem 1610–1685 Haarlem)

Date: 1673

Medium: Pen and brown ink, watercolor, white heightening, traces of graphite; framing lines by the artist (?) in brown ink and gold.

Dimensions: 9 5/8 x 7 15/16 in. (24.4 x 20.2 cm)

Classification: Drawings

Credit Line: Bequest of Lore Heinemann, in memory of her husband, Dr. Rudolf J. Heinemann, 1996

Accession Number: 1997.117.10


The Dutch Republic was among the first Western countries to have regularly published newspapers, and this drawing attests to their wide distribution. A seated weaver (the profession of the artist's father), seen from the back, appears to be reading the news from a broadside to his family, including a young woman and a small child. The picture epitomizes the rustic scenes of peasant life for which Adriaen van Ostade has always been admired. This watercolor, made as an independent work of art, is among his most famous works and was reproduced in several prints in the eighteenth century.