Painter/Artist: Philips Wouverman

Dutch School. A most prolific painter of landscapes enlivened with horsemen, etc. Eleven examples are in the National Gallery.


THE HORSE FAIR “This very capital picture exhibits an open country divided in the middle distance by a river, whose course is lost among the distant mountains. The principal scene of activity is represented along the front and second grounds, on which may be numbered about twenty-four horses, exhibiting that noble animal in every variety of action, and nearly fifty persons. On the right of the picture is a coach drawn by four fine grey horses, and in front of this object are a grey and a bay horse, on the latter of which are mounted a man and a boy; in advance of them is a group of four horses and several persons, among whom may be noticed a cavalier and a lady observing the paces of a horse which a jockey and his master are showing off; a gentleman on a black horse seems also to be watching the action of the animal. Near this person is a mare lying down, and a foal standing by it, which a boy is approaching. On the opposite side of the picture is a gentleman on a cream-coloured horse near two spirited greys, one of which is kicking, and a woman, a man, and a boy are escaping from its heels. From thence the eye looks over an open space occupied by men and horses, receding in succession to the bank of the river, along which are houses and tents concealed in part by trees. This picture is painted throughout with great care and delicacy in what is termed the last manner of the master, remarkable for the prevalent grey or silvery hues of colouring.” (Smith.)


THE STABLE Under a high-pitched barn roof, supported on the left by a lofty round arch which admits the principal light, are disposed a party of three horse men who are just riding off on their remounts, while their last horses are feeding in the background on the right. The central group consists of two of the travellers, one of whom is mounting a fine white horse, while the other on a black horse awaits him. The third is silhouetted against the light under the arch, with the ostler at the side, as he starts forth. One or two children, goats, fowls, and dogs enliven the scene, and through a smaller opening at the back on the right, over the backs of the spent horses, are two men on a hayrick.