The Merry Peasant is an oil on panel painting by Adiaen van Ostade, it measures 16.5 x 14.5 cm, and currently is located at the Rijksmuseum, in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
The painting depicts a close-up of a smiling peasant, holding a clay jug. One might assume the jug is holding ale or wine, and the peasant is joyously inebriated from the drink.
Adriaen van Ostade was a prominent Dutch artist of the Golden Age who specialized in genre works. Unlike many artists of his time, he chose to depict everyday life, especially of peasants.
He was trained by Frans Hals and spent most of his life in Haarlem honing skills that made him an admired painter. This type of peasant-themed art became popular among respectable citizens who were amused by the characters’ crude behavior depicted in these paintings.