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Peasant at the window

mid 1650s


Cornelis Bega


1931/1932 – 27 Aug 1664

No image
  • Details

    Alternative title
    Le paysan à la fenêtre
    mid 1650s
    Media category
    Materials used
    etching and drypoint
    ii of 2 states
    9.2 x 8.6 cm trimmed to platemark; 36.3 x 31.0 x 2.9 cm frame
    Signature & date

    Signed l.l., [incised plate] "C. bega". Not dated.

    Gift of Bridgestar Pty Ltd an investment company of the Late James Fairfax AC 2019. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program.
    Not on display
    Accession number
    Artist information
    Cornelis Bega

    Works in the collection


  • About

    During his short career Bega produced an oeuvre of 34 etchings of low-life subjects which owe their inspiration to the etchings of his master Adrian van Ostade – the major exponent of the peasant genre in 17th-century Holland. These include several figure groups depicted in tavern interiors as well as a series of individual head or figure studies of peasants. The interior scenes are often set against richly hatched, dark backgrounds in front of which figures are dramatically lit.

    A peasant is shown leaning on the sill of what appears to be an upper window and gazes down presumably at passers-by in the street. The subject-matter marks a move away from Bega’s slightly earlier peasants who were more strongly caricatured as crude, empty-headed individuals. The print probably derives from a painted version of the same subject by Van Ostade. 'Peasant at the window' is described by Duthuit as one of the finest prints in Bega’s oeuvre and probably dates to the mid 1650s. It is more carefully worked than his other single-figure studies. As in his interiors, the dark background of the room behind provides a foil against which the figure appears brightly lit. The print is known in two states of which the former omits the signature and the lower member of the window frame.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 2 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 2 publications

  • Provenance

    Marilyn Pink Fine Art, pre 25 Sep 1984, Los Angeles/California/United States of America

    James Oswald Fairfax AC, 25 Sep 1984-11 Jan 2017, Bowral/New South Wales/Australia, Purchased from Marilyn Pink by James Fairfax, 25 Sep 1984 for US$1,699.

    Bridgestar Pty Ltd, post 11 Jan 2017, Sydney/New South Wales/Australia, The Estate of James O Fairfax.

Other works by Cornelis Bega