The present lot, although unsigned, is an autograph work and belongs to the group of large-scale winterlandscapes that are dated between 1639 and 1647. Characteristic are the diagonally receding river bank with the farmhouse on the left, the panoramic view on the right and the grey in the centre. The present lot, with its lively figures and the subdued colour scheme, is to be compared with the picture of approximately the same size in the Louvre (P. Sutton, Masters of 17th Century Landscape Paintings, 1987/88, pp.391/2, no.63) and is to be dated circa 1644/7. Although Isaac van Ostade had a brief career - he died at the age of twenty-eight - his winterlandscapes influenced those of his fellow-townsman Salomon van Ruysdael and those of Rembrandt, who took up the landscape theme in the 1640's.
We are grateful to Dr. B. Schnackenburg for confirming the attribution on the basis of a transparency in a fax dated 8 February 2001.