oil on oak panel
in a French rococo carved and gilt-wood frame
Comte de Watteville;
His sale, Paris, 12 July 1779, for 1,200 Francs;
Marquis de Changran;
His sale, Paris, 21 February 1780, for 1,350 Livres;
Gustaf Adolf Sparre (1746-1794), by whom probably bought in Paris in 1780;
Sparre inv., 1794, no. 12..
C. Blanc, Le Trésor de la Curiosité tirédes catalogued de vente..., Paris 1857-8, vol I, p. 454, vol.II, p. 4;
Granberg, 1885-6, no. 46;
Ny Illustrarad Tidning, 1893, p. 201, reproduced;
Göthe, 1895, p. 23, no. 50;
C. Hofstede de Groot, A Catalogue Raisonné..., vol. III, London 1910, p. 477, no. 134;
Granberg, 1911-12, no. 517, reproduced plate 57;
Kjellberg, 1966, p. 346.
Hasselgren, 1974, pp. 113-4, 120, 121, 127, 132, reproduced p. 183.
Isack van Ostade, younger than his brother Adriaen by eleven years, had a tragically short career, dying in 1649 at the age of only 28. His early works are genre scenes stringkly influenced by his brother, and also somewhat by Rembrandt. Around 1643, the year of his entry into the Haarlem Guild, his style changed rapidly. He started to paint exterior scense which are, like the present work, half way between genre and landscape. They often depict peasants outside farms or halted at inns, and his subjects are usually seen under a leaden sky, even when they are not specifically winter scenes. His landscape settings have, as Schnackenburg observed, a monumental and atmospheric quality that can be easily recognised in the Sparre picture.1 After 1646, Isack van Ostade tended to paint upright compositions with larger figures; this picture probably dates from the last three years of the artist's career.
We are grateful to Dr. Hiltraud Doll for her help in cataloguing this lot. Dr. Doll will include it in her planned catalogue raisonné of Isack van Ostade's works.
Hasselgren noted that the Gerard Ter Borch now at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, was framed in a similar French rococo carved and gilt wood frame.2 Since Sparre bought both works in Paris in 1780, this should not surprise us.
1. B. Schnackenburg, in J. Turner (ed.), The Dictionary of Art, London 1996, vol. 23, p. 613.
2. See under Literature, p. 114.
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