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Isaack Jansz. van Ostade

A winter landscape with figures skating and playing colf on a frozen river by a fortified town, by Isaack Jansz. van Ostade (Haarlem 1621 - 1649 Haarlem)

Winter landscapes were one of van Ostade’s favourite subjects and he revisited the theme repeatedly throughout his career, with dated examples found from 1641 until 1647. The restricted tonality of the palette in this panel, reminiscent of Jan van Goyen, and the precision of the handling of the paint suggest an early date in contrast to the broader application and softened contours of van Ostade’s later work. In this way, the picture probably dates to the first years of the 1640s, very shortly after the completion of the painter’s training under his brother Adriaen van Ostade and Salomon van Ruysdael. The lively gathering of skaters and peasants on the frozen water shows the painter’s combination of the landscape and genre traditions, one of his most significant contributions to Dutch painting of the seventeenth century.

We are grateful to Dr. Bernhard Schnackenburg and Dr. Luuk Pijl for independently confirming the attribution on the basis of photographs.

Oil on panel 15 1/2 x 19 1/2 in. (39, 4 x 49,5 cm)

• Private collection, Bavaria, known as the 'Chambre Privée' collection

• Christies London, Old Master Paintings and Sculpture, 4 December 2019, sale 17293. Estimate GBP 30,000 - GBP 50,000; USD 38,850 - USD 64,760

Source: Robin Bargmann

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