Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
Copy after Adriaen van Ostade, Dutch (Haarlem 1610 - 1685 Haarlem)
Peasant Leaning on his Doorway, copy after Adriaen van Ostade
Work Type
18th century
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Gray ink, gray wash, black chalk, and graphite on cream antique laid paper, framing line in graphite
11.4 x 11.3 cm (4 1/2 x 4 7/16 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • collector's mark: verso, lower center, purple ink stamp and brown ink: L. 2130 [with accompanying inscription] 573 (John Witt Randall Collection at Harvard College)
  • inscription: former mount, lower left, graphite: It has passed through several European collections / as an original drawing by Adr van Ostade. / it comes last from Dresden where it was / obtained by Louis Thies of whom I purchased it. / See also the etching which Ostade has made / of this subject ----- JWR. [the latter four lines are written over a previous, erased inscription by Randall, which is now illegible]
  • inscription: mat, lower right, graphite: 573. / 262. [crossed out]
  • watermark: none
  • inscription: verso, lower center, purple ink stamp and brown ink: [Randall collection stamp with inscription] 573
Louis Thies, Dresden, sold; to John Witt Randall, Boston, MA, bequeathed; to his sister, Belinda L. Randall, 1892, given; to Harvard University, 1898.

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:

This scene of a peasant man looking out of a split door derives from Adriaen van Ostade’s etching (c. 1653) of the same subject (S5.12.1) .1 In an inscription on a former mount, John Witt Randall, the 19th-century American collector and previous owner of this sheet, noted the connection and likely believed that this drawing was Van Ostade’s original preparatory study for the print. However, details such as the awkward figural rendering and the tremulous lines, especially in the window panes, preclude Van Ostade’s hand and instead point to a weak, unidentified follower from the 18th century.

Van Ostade’s etching is in reverse of our drawing, as is an etched copy (R13216) by British printmaker David Deuchar (1743–1808).2 An anonymous etched copy3 is in the same orientation as our sheet, and as such may be its direct model. The hand that made our drawing expanded Van Ostade’s original composition (and that of the etched copies) slightly at the left and right edges.


1 Adriaen van Ostade, Peasant Leaning on His Doorway (Hollstein 9). For the date of the etching, see Leonard J. Slatkes in Everyday Life in Holland’s Golden Age: The Complete Etchings of Adriaen van Ostade, ed. Pieter van der Coelen et al. (Amsterdam: Museum Het Rembrandthuis, 1998), cat. 9, pp. 100–101.

2 David Deuchar, Peasant Leaning on His Doorway, etching, 105 × 93 mm.

3 Copy after Adriaen van Ostade, Peasant Leaning on His Doorway, etching, 110 × 100 mm, Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, RP-P-OB-12.656.

Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gift of Belinda L. Randall from the collection of John Witt Randall
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art
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Publication History

William W. Robinson, "John Witt Randall: An Early American Collector of Later German Drawings", Master Drawings, Master Drawings Association (New York, 2001), vol. 39, no. 2, Summer, pp. 159-168, p. 167 (note 24)

Subjects and Contexts

Dutch, Flemish, & Netherlandish Drawings

Related Works

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