Today’s work of art is by the Dutch artist Adriaen van Ostade, a Golden Age painter of genre scenes. This is the second painting of his I’ve featured, the first being Ale House Interior. Like that one, van Ostade did a watercolor first, and it, too, is in the Morgan Library & Museum in New York City. But eventually, in 1673, it was completed as an oil painting on a wood panel. It usually called The Violin Player, though some call it A Violinist at a Farmhouse Door.
A group of people are gathered in front of a simple house that seems to be a country inn. The atmosphere is one of gaiety, for an itinerant violinist has come to the door to play a tune, accompanied by the boy in the red jacket who plays the hurdy-gurdy. The music is enjoyed by young and old alike. In the middle of the picture, a man sits on a bench, his legs wide apart, holding a tankard of beer. In the doorway, a woman leans on the lower half of the door and two men look out, trying to catch a glimpse of the musicians. Some children hang about outside, enjoying the excitement. A tousled girl steadies a child wearing only one shoe, and a little boy makes contact with a dog.
I’m no expert on Dutch architecture, but the building doesn’t look like a farmhouse to me, as the Morgan Library insists. To me, at least, it looks more like a tavern door, and that better explains the man with the big tankard of beer.
To learn more about Adriaen van Ostade, Wikipedia and the J. Paul Getty Museum each have a biography of him, and you can also see links to his works online at ArtCyclopedia. The Web Gallery of Art and the Wikimedia Commons also feature a number of his paintings.