• Sense of Hearing

    Artist:
    Ostade, Adriaen van. 1610-1685
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    20x25 cm

Ostade, Adriaen van. 1610-1685

Sense of Hearing

Holland, 1635

Adriaen van Ostade’s Hearing belongs to a series of The Five Senses. While previously allegory was considered a genre of “high art” and it was expected that the senses would be presented in the guise of classical deities and heroes, in producing his own comical series and demonstratively breaking with tradition, Ostade was issuing a challenge of sorts to the aristocratic tastes of the day. All the works in this series display an almost grotesque keenness of wit. Peasants with squat clumsy physiques, with the stamp of naïve joy on their faces, listen enthusiastically and sing along to a simple song played on an out-of-tune fiddle. Perhaps one and the same snatch of music is being repeated again and again, hackneyed, rhythmical, no longer giving pleasure, yet hard to give up. Backbreaking labour, the constant struggle with poor weather, malnutrition, lack of amusements and the fears instilled by preachers promising punishment for a sinful life and dissolute behaviour were an oppressive burden. After a hard day’s work, people wanted to relax, to sing the ditties that wandering musicians brought to the village. The singer is holding a sheet of paper carrying either the music or the words… The peasants are having fun. This series also includes the paintings Smell, Taste, Sight and Brawl.

Title:

Sense of Hearing

Place:

Date:

Book, album, seria:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

20x25 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1920; handed over from the Gatchina Palace Museum

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-1000

Category:

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