Three Peasants at an Inn (1647) by Adriaen van Ostade

Three Peasants at an Inn - Adriaen van Ostade - 1647

Artwork Information

TitleThree Peasants at an Inn
ArtistAdriaen van Ostade
Dimensions27 x 22 cm
Art MovementBaroque
Current LocationDulwich Picture Gallery, London, UK

About Three Peasants at an Inn

“Three Peasants at an Inn” is a notable artwork by the Dutch artist Adriaen van Ostade, executed in 1647. This oil painting belongs to the Baroque period and is categorized as a genre painting, which captures scenes from everyday life. The artwork, which measures 27 by 22 centimeters, depicts a candid moment among rural figures and is part of the collection at the Dulwich Picture Gallery in London, United Kingdom.

The artwork reveals a rustic interior setting where three male figures occupy the scene. It embodies the typical genre scene for which Van Ostade was renowned, offering a glimpse into 17th-century Dutch peasant life. On the left, a man dressed in a red hat and a brown jacket sits and seems to be engaged in a lively conversation or perhaps a jovial argument, holding what may be a glass of ale or some other beverage aloft, his mouth open as if he’s speaking or exclaiming. In the center of the painting, another peasant, standing and bending slightly forward, attentively listens or responds to the seated man, his expression one of interest or amusement. The standing figure holds a pipe, suggesting a casual, leisurely atmosphere. To the right, the third character is seated and hunched over a tabletop activity, possibly counting coins or engaging in a game, showing less interest in the interaction of the other two but still an integral part of the group’s dynamic.

The backdrop of the scene is rendered with delicate attention to textural details, featuring wooden structures that hint at the humble nature of the inn and the weathered life of its patrons. The overall composition, with its effective use of chiaroscuro to highlight the central subjects, expressive facial depictions, and the intimate portrayal of social interaction, is characteristic of the Baroque movement’s emphasis on drama and naturalism.

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