The Spectacle Seller

Accession Number

The Spectacle Seller

Adriaen Jansz van Ostade

Artist Nationality
Dutch (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
circa 1647-1652

Medium & Support
etching, drypoint and engraving on paper

4 in x 3 3/10 in (10.16 cm x 8.41 cm);19 3/10 in x 14 ¼ in (49.05 cm x 36.2 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Carl Fredric Clarke

Label copy
Ostade's etching shows a door-to-door salesman offering a pair of spectacles to a woman leaning out a half-open door. The peddler seen in this print seems benevolent and the woman appears eager to examine his wares. However, specatacles themselves had alternately good and bad associations, linked on the one hand with clarity of perception and wisdom, and on the other hand with deception.

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area

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historical figures

2 Related Resources

Work and Workers
(Part of 9 Learning Collections)
Early Modern European Peasants
(Part of 10 Learning Collections)

& Author Notes

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