Village Romance


Adriaen Van Ostade (1610-1685), Village Romance, etching and drypoint, circa 1667. Godefry 11, Hollstein 11. Godefry’s 9th state (of 12). In good condition, remains of prior hinging verso, with margins, 6 1/2 x 5, the sheet 7 1/8 x 5 3/4 inches. On old laid paper with a Foolscap with 7 points watermark. This is Godefry’s watermark 21-22, characteristic of lifetime impressions c. 1680.

Provenance: Arthur FriederickTheodor Bohnenberger, Stuttgart (stamp verso, Lugt 68, Suppl.); Heinrich Buttstaedt, Gotha and Berlin (ink signature verso, Lugt 320); Martin Carlson, Stockholm; George Bjorklund, Stockholm; Dr. S. William Pelletier (acquired from Bjorklund August 18, 1966, with stamp, dateĀ and initials verso).

A fine impression in black ink on cream laid paper. In this state there are stong vertical stokes on the man’s hat. Godefry describes the 9th state impressions of this print as “rare.”

This impression of Village Romance is illustrated and discussed in the landmark volume on Van Ostade’s prints “Adriaen Van Ostade, Etchings of Peasant Life in Holland’s Golden Age,” by Pelletier, Slatkes andĀ Stone-Ferrier, pages 71-3.

Van Ostade made the Village Romance at a relatively late stage in his career, after he had demonstrated his ability to create both large scale scenes (such as Dance in the Inn) and smaller more intimate plates. This is one of his most successful plates of the latter type (though it is not particularly small); the drawing is supple, the expressions of the young woman, and the much older man (whose hand is firmly planted on her breast, apparently with her consent), are both quite telling. The composition is intriguing, the framing of the images (with the window device, and the vine upper right) superb.