OSTADE, Isaack van
(b. 1621, Haarlem, d. 1649, Haarlem)

Winter Landscape

Oil on panel, 51 x 77 cm
Private collection

The painting depicts a winter landscape with figures on a frozen river, a town beyond. Highlighted near the centre, a group of figures stand in conversation, amongst whom a white horse - a recurring motif in Isaac van Ostade's work - stands with its head bowed.

The theme of crowded winter landscapes, pioneered by Pieter Brueghel the Elder, became extremely popular in the seventeenth century. It was one of van Ostade's favourite subjects, and he became one of the genre's finest exponents.