The Haarlem painter Adriaen van Ostade (1610–1685) learned his artistic craft in the 1620s from one of the most famous portrait painters of the Netherlands, Frans Hals (1580/85–1666). He passed on his masterly skills as teacher, especially to his master student Cornelis Dusart (1660–1704). However, Van Ostade was not trained in the art of etching, he acquired this technique autodidactically. Unlike his contemporary Rembrandt, he did not dare to work on the copperplate without preparatory drawing that always formed the basis of his etchings, for which he had acquired a fine and varied line spectrum. With his genre pieces – be it paintings, drawings or graphics – he is now regarded as the key artist capturing the simple, rural life of the 17th century. The same applies to his student Cornelis Dusart, who completed even numerous of his master’s artworks after his death. What characterises both are the almost mirror-inverted captured everyday life scenes that are often associated with contemporary genre pictures or social moral concepts, but always of a high degree of truth. They bring the typically Dutch sense of community and togetherness at that time to life – both of a family as well as of an entire village.
The showcase exhibition presents 19 etchings of the two artists as well as an original copperplate from 1671. The objects – of which 17 are loans from the Tuliba Collection – present themselves on the one hand simple and plain, on the other hand rich in detail, even picturesque. They all have one thing in common: They vividly demonstrate a highly authentic impression of the sense of community in the Dutch Golden Age.