Saying Grace

Adriaen Van Ostade (1610-1685), Saying Grace, etching, 1653. Reference: Louis Godefroy 34, sixth state (of 6), 6 5/8 x 5 5/8 inches. In very good condition, printed on a cream/tan laid paper. Signed and dated in the plate upper right.

A very good impression of this intimate family scene.

In this state the cross-hatching behind the man’s head, which appeared in the first two states but was removed in the third state, was re-instated. The composition was essentially unchanged through its state adjustments.

The late Supreme Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote of this to his friend Harold Laski: “But I have got and have just hung here an adorable Ostade that I have been on the watch for nearly two years…. a peasant saying grace over his bowl of porridge – his little boy to his right – wife and baby in the rear. It has the line of piety that Millet got in his “Angelus” – but so simple, so unconscious, so immediately sympathetic.”