In seventeenth-century Holland city dwellers displayed scenes of peasant life on the walls of their homes. They enjoyed idealised pastoral scenes or, in this case, the fun of looking at the various people and activities they may have seen on visits to the country.
Jan Lingelbach was increasingly influenced by the work of Philips Wouwerman, a successful and prolific artist whose paintings portrayed figures at work and on horseback and, like Lingelbach’s, often featured a white horse. Each small group seems to invite interpretation of the story between them. Lingelbach has packed this picture with such incidents: a couple apparently asks the way, one boy tries to stop a dog fight and a man crouches behind a urinating horse.
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