Born in 1610 in the Dutch city of Haarlem Adrien van Ostade became the pupil of the portrait painter Frans Hals in1627. Like many of the artists of his time van Ostade was interested in the everyday scenes of life around him, and this print titled Singers at a Window is congruent with this trend. The shift in subject matter is indicative of the change in art patronage occurring during van Ostade's lifetime. The imagery of these works is often laced with notions of humor and defies the gravity of more traditional, religious subject matter found in earlier works.
During a period of time in which the world was rapidly expanding, Allaert Van Everdingen was providing various patrons with images of exotic landscapes and scenes of man's conquering the wilderness with clustered village scenes. This print (The Carpenter) is more enclosed, with no discernible horizon and trees extending beyond the picture plane, which is considerably different than the sweeping depth found in many of his other landscape works. This however is an isolated anomaly in the sea of works by this prolific artist.
Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione was a contemporary of Van Everdingen, and, like many Dutch patrons of that time, the Italians wanted images of the exotic orient. The print on display here is likely a portrait of a man from the Near East and would have been sold in Italy as a piece of exotic art. Castiglione was always considered a talented, but troubled artist; having many encounters with the law including nearly throwing his sister from a roof and several reported murders.