This extraordinary painter was born at Haerlem, in 1608. His parents were extremely poor, and his mother sold to the peasants bonnets and handkerchiefs, which the young Adrian painted with flowers and birds. These attempts were noticed by Francis Hals, a distinguished painter of Haerlem, who offered to take the young artist into his school—which proposal was gladly accepted. Hals, on discovering his superior genius, separated him from all his companions, and locked him up in a garret, that he might profit by his talents. The pictures of Brower sold readily at high prices, but the avaricious Hals treated him with increased severity, lest he should become acquainted with the value of his talents, and leave him. This cruelty excited the pity of Adrian van Ostade, then a pupil of Hals; and he found an opportunity of advising Brower to make his escape, which the latter effected, and fled to Amsterdam. Soon after arriving in that city, he painted a picture of Boors Fighting, which he gave to the landlord of the inn where he lodged, and requested him to sell it. The host soon returned with one hundred ducats, which he had received for the work. The artist was amazed at such a result of his labors, but instead of exerting his wonderful talents, he plunged into a course of dissipation. This natural propensity to alternate work and indulgence marked his whole life, and involved him in many extraordinary adventures.