Skip to main content
Peasants with Mules and Oxen
Jan Both
/

The sun sinks behind a steep Italian hillside, casting a soft, gold light over a meandering river in the valley below. But the chill of evening is perhaps settling in. Huddled in his coat, his hat well down over his ears, a man rides his mule side-saddle.

Behind them, a peasant drives two oxen down the mountain path. He raises his hand as if his attention has been caught, perhaps by a bird. A leafless tree on the right saves the scene from becoming too idyllic, its harsh, angular shape contrasting with the soft, fine leaves of the beech trees.

Jan Both came from Utrecht; young painters from here often crossed the Alps for a stay in Italy. He lived in Rome, and went out into the countryside to sketch from nature. When he returned to Utrecht, Jan turned his raw material into a series of landscapes suffused by a rich, golden light, which were popular with Dutch collectors.

Key facts
Artist Jan Both
Artist dates about 1615 - 1652
Full title Peasants with Mules and Oxen on a Track near a River
Date made about 1641-3
Medium and support Oil on copper
Dimensions 39.6 x 58.1 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Wynn Ellis Bequest, 1876
Inventory number NG959
Location in Gallery Room 26
Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download an 800px wide, 72dpi copy of this image.

License this image

License and download a high resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Yes, I'd like to donate
Or
Download low resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo