The Family (c.1647) by Adriaen van Ostade

The Family - Adriaen van Ostade - c.1647

Artwork Information

TitleThe Family
ArtistAdriaen van Ostade
Dimensions17.4 x 15.4 cm
Art MovementBaroque
Current LocationThe Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City

About The Family

“The Family,” an etching created by Adriaen van Ostade around the year 1647, is an artwork that exemplifies the Baroque movement and the genre painting style. It is a modestly sized piece with dimensions of approximately 17.4 x 15.4 cm. The etching is part of the collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, located in New York City.

The artwork depicts a domestic interior scene rich in details and characters. In the foreground, on the left, we observe a cradle, beside which a young child is being tended to by a figure whose actions suggest a caretaking role. To the right, another figure, likely a parent or a caregiver, is occupied with engaging two other children, enhancing the scene with a sense of nurturing and family life. The setting is intimate, with an abundance of household items hanging from the ceiling and placed on shelves, conveying the sense of a lived-in and active household. The masterful use of light and shadow contributes to the depth and realism of the space, while the detailed rendering of the various textures adds to the depiction’s robustness and sensory appeal. This etching is a prime example of van Ostade’s skill in capturing the essence of daily life during the Baroque period, and it resonates with the warmth and complexity of familial interactions.

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