Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Head of a Bearded Man in a Hat

Adriaen van Ostade (Dutch, Haarlem 1610–1685 Haarlem)
ca. 1650
Black and red chalk, blue pastel
Sheet: 3 3/4 x 3 1/2 in. (9.6 x 8.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Walter and Leonore Annenberg Acquisitions Endowment and Frits and Rita Markus Funds, 2010
Accession Number:
Not on view
One of the emblematic painters of seventeenth-century Holland, Adriaen van Ostade was also a prolific draftsman. This sensitive drawing is arguably the best of a small group of head studies by him. Three of those, all in the British Museum, London, also depict an old peasant in a hat, possibly the same model. All four studies may have been done from life. Because this drawing represents its subject not as a type or caricature but as a stern-looking, even melancholy human marked by life, it can be called an exception in the oeuvre of Van Ostade, whose figures are usually seen laughing, drinking, smoking and dancing—or worse. The modest subject of the drawing contrasts with its refined technique. In addition to red and black chalk, Van Ostade used blue pastel to subtly color the hat and the man's jerkin.
Inscription: At lower left, monogrammed "AVO" ("AV" in ligature) in black chalk
Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice, 5th Marquess of Lansdowne (1845–1927); his sale, Sotheby's, London, March 25, 1920, lot 43; Philip Hofer (American, Cincinnati, Ohio 1898–1984 Cambridge, Massachusetts); his descendants; sale, Sotheby's, London, July 6, 1992, lot 77; Henning Hoesch; his sale, Sotheby's, London, July 6, 2010, lot 68; Vendor: Katrin Bellinger Kunsthandel, Munich
Catalogue of a very choice and remarkable collection of Old Master Drawings, The property of the Marquess of Lansdowne, K.G. [sale cat., Sotheby's, London, March 25, 1920]. Sotheby's, London, 1920, cat. no. 43, ill.

Sotheby's, London Old Master Drawings. [Sale catalogue]. July 6, 1992, cat. no. 77, ill.

Sotheby's, London Master Drawings from a Dinstinguished European Collection. [Sale catalogue]. July 6, 2010, cat. no. 68, ill.

Stijn Alsteens, George R. Goldner, Constance C. McPhee, Cora Michael, Samantha Rippner, Perrin Stein "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 2010-2012." in The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, vol. 70, no. 2, Fall 2012, p. 34 (entry written by Stijn Alsteens), ill.

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