the Fiddler and the Hurdy-Gurdy Boy
Etching and burin, ca. 1660, 155 x 130 mm., Bartsch 45, Godefroy 45 iv/vi, Hollstein 45 v/vii, ex collection: Wm. Pelletier (Lugt on line 4193). Fine lifetime impression on laid paper with thread margins, the margins reinforced and extended with additional paper. Unlike later impressions of the print, the image here has depth and a range of tone and the scene comes alive. Ostade’s etchings were disparaged by many in his lifetime as being too concerned with low life. Today, they are valued not just as fine art but as accurate pictures of what ordinary life was like in seventeenth-century Holland. Pelletier’s was one of the outstanding private collections of Ostade etchings and this impression is described and illustrated in his catalog.