Fight - Adrian van Ostade. 41 x 55 cm
The Dutch painter Adrian van Ostade can be considered the founder of the peasant genre. After all, unlike other artists of the 17th century, he preferred to draw not rich inhabitants and important aristocrats, but everyday pictures from the life of ordinary people - villagers, shopkeepers, players, artisans, sometimes people from the very bottom - drunkards, hooligans, smokers and brawlers. From his works you can learn and understand the mores of commoners of that time.
So, in 1635 he wrote a very expressive and dynamic work "Fight". Perhaps, during this period, young van Ostade was impressed by the paintings of the Flemish artist Brower, who was known for drawing binges, brazhniki, card players, cruel brawlers.
On the canvas of Adrian van Ostade, we see the midst of a fierce fight. Most likely, the drunk company recently left the tavern, they have a wild mood and a desire to "scratch their fists". In the left part of the picture there are already victims, one reveler on the ground and they are trying to help him up. Or maybe it was one of the passers-by who tried to stop the reckless fellows.
In the center, illuminated by a bright light spot, two hooligans with knives found their victim and attacked her. The woman rushed to the rescue, raising her hand in a protective gesture.
The author paints these drunk people with evil, even animal faces. Particularly impressive is the predatory profile and the hooked nose of the person on the right, with a wide knife introduced.
Due to the fact that the artist makes sharp chiaroscuro, the characters are especially angular and sharp, unkind, even sinister, animal aggression comes from them.
The painting was written by the author in the early period of his work, but it can already be called a masterpiece in execution, in expressiveness, in liveliness and dynamism.
In subsequent years, the artist will move away from such rude and aggressive subjects. For example, his Fight, written in 1637, evokes only a kind smile from a comical brawl of villagers.