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Karel Dujardin: 'A Woman and a Boy with Animals at a Ford'
The peasants, a bare-breasted young woman and a boy, who is shown urinating in the water beside her, have halted at the ford in the heat of the day. The cow faces towards the road leading to the ford, while the mule stoops to drink. The grouping of the figures is echoed in the structure of the rocky embankment in the background, which forms a solid mass to the left, with a sunlit outcrop immediately over the heads of the figures.

The woman and mule also appear, in reverse, in an undated etching by the artist. Fords became a popular subject with Italianate landscape painters in Holland. Scenes such as this are evocations of the Roman Campagna, which Dujardin sketched during his stay in Italy.

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