Isaac van Ostade (Haarlem 1621-1648)
Isaac van Ostade (Haarlem 1621-1648)

Travellers and peasants resting outside an inn

Isaac van Ostade (Haarlem 1621-1648)
Travellers and peasants resting outside an inn
signed 'Isack van ostade' (lower right)
oil on canvas
19 x 22 7/8 in. (48.2 x 58 cm.)
Jacques Léopold Désiré Dieudonné van der Schrieck (1786-1857), Leuven, by 1842; his sale (†), Le Roy, Brussels, 8 April 1861, lot 79 (1,500 francs to Le Roy).
with P. de Boer, Amsterdam, by 1956.
Thyssen-Bornemisza de Kászon et Impérfalva collection, Villa Favorita, Lugano-Castagnola, and by inheritance to the present owner.
J. Smith, Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch, Flemish and French Painters, IX, London, 1842, p. 127, no. 15.
C. Hofstede de Groot, A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch Painters of the Seventeenth Century, III, London, 1910, p. 458, no. 68.

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Lot Essay

This canvas is a characteristic example of Isaac van Ostade’s idyllic vision of the local countryside around Haarlem, where he lived throughout his brief but illustrious career. Here, van Ostade uses one of his preferred compositional devices in creating a strong diagonal accent across the picture plane, which draws the viewer’s eye from the densely-grouped buildings down to the open landscape. Stylistically, the delicacy of the effects of lighting, the warm tonality of the scene and the emphasis on finely painted detail suggest a date around the mid-1640s, probably around 1644, a period when Ostade’s painting underwent a marked transformation. Inspired by the Dutch Italianate painter Pieter van Laer, Isaac gave up painting interiors in favour of outdoor scenes, combining landscape and genre elements, and frequently depicting travellers on country roads or stopping outside inns. At the same time, he abandoned the dark colouring and loose brushwork that characterised his early oeuvre, adopting a more delicate, detailed technique and lighter overall tonality. Van Ostade’s figures are familiar adaptations from the work of his brother Adriaen and can be seen to anticipate those of later painters like Jan Steen and David Teniers the Younger.

We are grateful to Dr. Bernhard Schnackenburg for confirming the attribution on the basis of photographs and for his assistance in the cataloguing of this lot.

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