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Adriaen van Ostade: 'A Peasant courting an Elderly Woman'

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Ostade not only painted crowded tavern scenes and village festivities, he also made studies of individual country people. In the 18th century this composition of two elderly lovers, or a contemporary print after it by Cornelis de Visscher (1619/29 - 1662), was known as 'Het zoute scholletje' (the salt plaice) or 'Het schollenmannetje' (literally, the little plaice man) which refers to the fish lying on the table.

In addition to the etching by Visscher, the composition was engraved in mezzotint (a type of engraving invented in the 17th century) by Jacob Gole (about 1660 - about 1737) and also by Peter Schenk (1660 - about 1718/19).

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