Interior with Peasants (1663) Adriaen van Ostade painting

Interior with Peasants is a painting by the Dutch 17th century artist Adriaen van Ostade. Its original Dutch title is Boereninterieur. Van Ostade was specialized in daily-life painting (also called genre painting), many of which show farm interiors, making Interior with Peasants a fine example of his entire work.

In a messy, dark interior, a mother with child sits next to a window while three farmers drink in the background of the painting. The household is in deprivation, emphasized by mussel and eggshells spread all over the filthy floor. Other objects on the floor are the poor people's work tools, such as a spinning wheel and an instrument to make balls of wool. The child refuses the food given to him by his mother. Although the painting is rather decorative than moralistic, the message behind the refusal could be the old Dutch saying:

Armoede overkomt hen, die weigeren wat hun aangeboden wordt
(Poverty comes to those who refuse what is offered to them)

Some technical details provided by The Wallace Collection (London), which owns the Van Ostade work:

Oak Panel
height 34.1 cm, width 39.7cm, depth 0.8cm

The digitalized online version of the painting is available at

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