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


This scene of a man reading the news surrounded by family and friends within the sunlit confines of a weavers' cottage epitomizes the rustic scenes of peasant life for which Ostade is so well known. Linen weaving, a profession practiced only by men, became the most important and lucrative occupation in Haarlem in the seventeenth century. Ostade celebrated the economic profit brought about by this industry in this outstanding watercolor, an autonomous work of art, and one which remained famous through the eighteenth century.