barber institute of fine arts
university of birmingham


Adriaen van Ostade (1610-1685)

The child and the doll

1679

Etching

104 x 93 mm

 

A child sits on its mother’s lap and reaches for a doll while the parents fondly observe. Dolls were particularly associated with girls as they were thought to gravitate naturally towards their calling as mother and housewife even in early play. This simple family is therefore represented as correctly training the child to recognise its future role. Van Ostade is best known for his warm depictions of peasant scenes which portray the figures with dignity and humour.

Purchased 1948 (No.48.16)

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