Oil on panel
7 x 6 inches (17.5 x 15 cm)
Framed: 11 1/2 x 10 3/4 inches
Private collection, UK
Born in Haarlem, Cornelis Dusart carried out the whole of his training and career there. He was apprenticed to Adriaen van Ostade, quickly establishing himself as the most promising of van Ostade’s pupils and on January 10, 1679, entered the Guild of Saint Luke in Haarlem. However, little else is known about Dusart’s life after his appointment in 1692 to hoofdman (leader) of the painters’ guild. During his lifetime. he was known primarily as a painter of peasant scenes, as well as a draftsman and etcher. His works frequently illustrate an element of caricature. His style remained closely reminiscent of van Ostade’s until roughly 1682, when Dusart began to develop a more personal style.
A Man with a Pipe in an Interior, depicts an idle man seated at a coarse wooden table before a solid grey background. The rough clothes of the peasant are rendered in earth tones, enlivened only by a soft red cap. The subject turns slightly away from the viewer, absorbed in the curling smoke that escapes from his parted lips. In his left hand, propped up on the tabletop by his bent elbow, he holds a long white pipe in his fingers. On the table is a ceramic ashtray and small amount of tobacco on a paper. His heavily lidded, squinting eyes are glazed as a result of the drink held in the pewter tankard in his other hand. His nose and cheeks are also ruddy from the effects of alcohol. While his brow furrows in concentration on smoking his pipe, his open posture seems to invite the viewer to participate in his indolent occupation.