Cornelis Dusart

Dates1660 - 1704
BornHaarlem, The Netherlands
DiedHaarlem, The Netherlands

Like his teacher, Adriaen van Ostade, Cornelis Dusart specialized in depicting the everyday life of the Dutch lower class. It was only after his teacher's death that Dusart developed his own, more refined style.

Dusart was born in Haarlem in 1660, the son of a church organist. In his late teens, he studied painting with Van Ostade, and his earliest works relied heavily on his teacher's compositions. After Van Ostade's death in 1685, Dusart took over the contents of the studio and owned both Adriaen's works and those of Van Ostade's brother, Isack. Dusart reworked and sold many of their drawings, and in the process assimilated their styles and subjects. He also completed or adapted oil paintings by Jan Steen, whose style inspired him to develop figures with exaggerated expressions, gestures, and clothing.

Dusart's depictions of peasants drinking and carousing were probably not intended as moral lessons about vice, but rather, served as a form of comedy. The satirical side of Dusart's art reflected popular theater, and his published prints had an impact on Dutch caricature. By his death in 1704, Dusart had acquired a remarkable collection by the Italian and Dutch artists who most inspired him.