Isack’s winter landscapes were a speciality of his repertoire, which consisted largely of rustic interiors and outdoor scenes. He painted wintry views from 1641 during a brief career that lasted only a decade until his death at the age of twenty-eight. Most, like the present work, are composed on a diagonal and adopt a low viewpoint across an expanse of ice. The white horse, which here features in the middle ground, was a favourite motif. The crisp lines in this fine example evoke the similar handling of his best drawings. An inferior version of this painting that repeats the principal elements of the composition in oval format was sold in these Rooms as circle of Isaac van Ostade.1
This work, which is unrecorded in the literature, once belonged to the art historian Otto Mündler (1811–70), who acted as an agent for the National Gallery in London during the second half of the 1850s.
1. Panel, 48 by 63.5 cm.; C. Hofstede de Groot, A Catalogue Raisonné..., London 1910, Vol. III, pp. 532–33, no. 285. London, Sotheby's, 15 December 1982, lot 79.