The Family

Adriaen Van Ostade (1610-1685), The Family, etching with drypoint, 1647, signed and dated in plate lower right. Louis Godefroy 46, fourth state (of 7), on a cream laid paper, in very good condition, 7 x 6 1/4 inches, 181x 160 mm.

Kennedy Galleries, New York, with their inventory number a49071 verso
Unidentified collector with initials HW in pencil verso, not in Lugt (probably not Horace Walpole, whose initialing was a bit different)
Jean-Louis Henri Le Secq (1818-1889) with his stamp verso, Lugt 1336

A very good impression, before the Picart edition (in the fifth state). Fourth state impressions are considered “rare” by Godefroy (R).

The Family is one of Ostade’s most beloved prints, referred to by Hamerton as perhaps his most perfect etching, remarkable for its lighting and composition, and by Wedmore as among the chefs d’oeuvre of the art of etching. The light is focused on the four family members (6 counting the infant and the dog): the father cutting bread, the worn and tired-looking mother fondling her infant, the younger son holding a soup bowl, and the older son playing with the pet dog.