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Isack van Ostade, A Landscape with Peasants and a Cart

Key facts
Full title A Landscape with Peasants and a Cart
Artist Isack van Ostade
Artist dates 1621 - 1649
Date made 1645
Medium and support Oil on oak
Dimensions 52.9 × 45.4 cm
Inscription summary Signed; Dated
Acquisition credit Salting Bequest, 1910
Inventory number NG2544
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
A Landscape with Peasants and a Cart
Isack van Ostade

In a mellow light, a group of peasants pause by a muddy pool in the shade of an oak tree. A woman perched high on a cart holds a basket and looks around her. Away in the distance to the right, a church spire and a windmill seem as delicate as cobwebs against the sky.

Isack van Ostade paints the scene with such feeling for real life that you can almost hear the giant wheel creak as the old man eases the horse to a halt. A playful little dog dances alongside the little boy who paddles in the brackish water. Two men sit and chat at the side of the pool and, behind the cart, another man watches over his cattle.

These peaceful rural scenes were very popular with seventeenth-century Dutch collectors perhaps looking for a country idyll in the midst of a busy city. Best known for his winter scenes, this is one of Isack van Ostade’s few landscapes.

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