Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
Imitator of Adriaen van Ostade, Dutch (Haarlem 1610 - 1685 Haarlem)
Man Swinging a Flail
Work Type
17th century
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Brown ink and brown wash on blue antique laid paper, framing line in brown ink
actual: 14.6 x 7.1 cm (5 3/4 x 2 13/16 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • collector's mark: verso, lower left, black ink, stamp: L. 2879 (Freiherr Max von Heyl zu Herrnsheim)
  • inscription: verso, lower left, graphite: LW
  • inscription: verso, lower center, graphite: 190
  • inscription: former mount, brown ink: 45//7 / v.G. 344 / A Ostade
  • inscription: former mount, graphite: 4
  • inscription: former mount, graphite: Loesers' [?] colln
  • inscription: former mount, brown ink: JCRobinson / 1873 [L. 2141b, John Charles Robinson]
  • inscription: former mount, graphite: A73751 [triangle] [not Colnaghi]
  • inscription: former mount, graphite: WNO
  • inscription: former mount, graphite: Heseltine Coll
  • collector's mark: former mount, black ink, stamp: L. 1507 (John Postle Heseltine)
  • watermark: none
  • inscription: lower left, graphite: AVO
John Charles Robinson, London (L. 2141b, former mount). John Postle Heseltine, London (L. 1507, former mount). Freiherr Max von Heyl zu Herrnsheim, Darmstadt (L. 2879, verso, lower left), sold; [Gutekunst, Stuttgart, 25-26 May 1903, lot 207]; to [H. G. Gutekunst]. Charles A. Loeser, Florence, Italy, bequest; to Fogg Art Museum, 1932.
Published Text
Drawings from the Age of Bruegel, Rubens, and Rembrandt: The Complete Collection Online
Multiple authors
Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2017–)

Entry by Susan Anderson, completed November 01, 2017:

In his 1981 monograph on the drawings of Adriaen and Isaac van Ostade, Bernhard Schnackenburg identified an anonymous hand, which he called “Ostade Imitator of the Late 17th Century.” He claimed that the artist was responsible for a group of drawings close in style to those by Adriaen van Ostade, recognizable by their small size, compositions with a single figure, and easily imitated motifs. To this convincingly cohesive group of sheets, Schnackenburg included our drawing Man Swinging a Flail with five other versions of this composition, which suggests this anonymous hand drew repeatedly from the same original, now lost.1 In our sheet and the others, the presence of a single figure rendered in bold, slightly sketchy lines implies that Van Ostade’s original dated to the 1660s–70s.


1 Bernhard Schnackenburg, Adriaen van Ostade, Isack van Ostade, Zeichnungen und Aquarelle, 2 vols. (Hamburg: Dr. Ernst Hauswedell & Co., 1981), 1: 68, 2: 296–98, Figs. 108–16. The five additional drawings are in Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett, as Copy after Adriaen van Ostade, Threshing Peasant, Seen from the Front, ink and wash over graphite, 127 × 71 mm, KdZ 3861 (see Elfried Bock and Jakob Rosenberg, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Die Niederländischen Meister, 2 vols. [Berlin: Julius Bard, 1930], 1: 206); Dresden, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Kupferstichkabinett (as After Adriaen van Ostade, Threshing Peasant, brown ink and gray and brown wash, 127 × 72 mm, C 1264; see Schnackenburg, cat. F 87); Leiden, Prentenkabinet (as Isaack van Ostade, Thresher, brown ink and brown and gray wash, 136 × 82 mm, PK-T-AW-674; see Schnackenburg, cat. F 139); Paris, Musée du Louvre (as Adriaen van Ostade, Standing Man, Facing Forward, Swinging a Flail, brown ink, gray wash, and black chalk, 131 × 082 mm, RF 29048; see Schnackenburg, cat. F 212); and Chapel Hill, N.C., Ackland Art Museum (as Dutch, 17th century, Peasant Threshing Corn, pen and brown ink and gray wash, 139 × 89 mm, 80.40.1; see Schnackenburg, cat. F 178).

Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Bequest of Charles A. Loeser
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art
The Harvard Art Museums encourage the use of images found on this website for personal, noncommercial use, including educational and scholarly purposes. To request a higher resolution file of this image, please submit an online request.
Publication History

Agnes Mongan and Paul J. Sachs, Drawings in the Fogg Museum of Art, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, 1940), vol. 1, cat. no. 519, p. 273 as Adriaen van Ostade (?)

Bernhard Schnackenburg, Adriaen van Ostade, Isack van Ostade: Zeichnungen und Aquarelle (Hamburg, Germany, 1981), vol. 1, cat. no. F62, p. 213, as Ostade Imitator of the late 17th century

Emmanuel Starcky, Inventaire Générale Des Dessins Du Nord: Supplément aux Inventaires Publiés par Frits Lugt et Louis Demonts, Ministere de la culture... (Paris, France, 1988), under cat. 262

Carlo Francini, "L'inventario della collezione Loeser alla Villa Gattaia", Bollettino della Società di Studi Fiorentini (2000), no. 6, p. 119 ("Cartella con due stelle d'oro")

Subjects and Contexts

Dutch, Flemish, & Netherlandish Drawings

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of European and American Art at