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Philips Wouwerman, The Interior of a Stable

Key facts
Full title The Interior of a Stable
Artist Philips Wouwerman
Artist dates 1619 - 1668
Date made probably 1655-60
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 47 × 67 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Bought, 1871
Inventory number NG879
Location Room 19
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
The Interior of a Stable
Philips Wouwerman

Stables were found everywhere in the seventeenth century – but this is no ordinary one. A peacock is perched on a branch at the entrance. Outside, there’s part of a weathered but grand building; birds nest on its roof and climbing plants drift over windows. The entrance and the trees give an air of age and continuity. This is the stable of an old aristocratic household, with its many grooms, stable boys and coachmen.

Wouwerman seems to have enjoyed painting scenes in rich but subtle colours – like the lush yellow jacket of the rider with his back to us, the detail of the black blot on the white horse’s rump and its red rosette. And he portrays many little incidents in one picture, giving us lots to discover, to interpret, to discuss and come back to.

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