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Isack van Ostade

Dutch, 1621 - 1649

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Arthur K. Wheelock Jr., “Isack van Ostade,” NGA Online Editions, (accessed June 18, 2024).

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Isack van Ostade, the youngest of the eight children of Jan Hendricx van Eyndhoven and Janneke Hendriksdr, was born in Haarlem and baptized there on June 2, 1621. He became a member of the Haarlem painters’ guild in 1643 and died in 1649, at the age of twenty-eight.

Van Ostade’s first surviving dated painting is from 1639, a mere ten years before his early death. Despite a very short career, his output was prodigious, and his creativity and originality striking. According to Houbraken, Isack was a pupil of his more famous brother Adriaen van Ostade (Dutch, 1610 - 1685), and his early paintings of low-life interiors and peasant scenes are indeed extremely close in style to the work of his brother.

It was not long, however, before Isack began to develop his own distinctive artistic personality. His paintings of outdoor peasant and village settings combine elements of genre scenes with an evocative treatment of the landscape. These compositions, which typically show travelers or peasants resting in front of inns or houses, are executed with subtle atmospheric and seasonal effects. Isack van Ostade also excelled at depicting winter scenes.

Arthur K. Wheelock Jr.

April 24, 2014

Artist Bibliography

Houbraken, Arnold. De Groote Schouburgh der Nederlantsche Konstschilders en Schilderessen. 3 vols. in 1. The Hague, 1753 (Reprint: Amsterdam, 1976): 1:347.
Smith, John. A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch, Flemish and French Painters. 9 vols. London, 1829-1842: 1(1829):179-198; 9(1842):121, 815.
Willigen, Adriaan van der. Les Artistes de Harlem: Notices historiques avec un précis sur la Gilde de St. Luc. Revised and enlarged ed. Haarlem and The Hague, 1870: 29, 233-240.
Rosenberg, Adolf. Adriaen und Isack van Ostade. Bielefeld, 1900.
Hofstede de Groot, Cornelis. A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch Painters of the Seventeenth Century. 8 vols. Translated by Edward G. Hawke. London, 1907-1927: 3(1910):437-556.
Bie, Cornelis de. Het gulden cabinet van de edel vry schilderconst. Edited by Gerard Lemmens. Reprint of Antwerp, 1661/1662. Soest, 1971: 258.
Schnackenburg, Bernhard. Adriaen van Ostade, Isack van Ostade: Zeichnungen und Aquarelle. 2 vols. Hamburg, 1981.
Schnackenburg, Bernhard. Le monde paysan d'Adriaen et Isack van Ostade. Exh. cat. Institut Néerlandais, Paris, 1981.
Sutton, Peter C. Masters of Seventeenth-Century Dutch Genre Painting. Edited by Jane Iandola Watkins. Exh. cat. Philadelphia Museum of Art; Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin; Royal Academy of Arts, London. Philadelphia, 1984: 390-394.
Sutton, Peter C., et al. Masters of Seventeenth-Century Dutch Landscape Painting. Exh. cat. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Philadelphia Museum of Art. Boston, 1987: 390-394.
MacLaren, Neil. The Dutch School, 1600-1900. Revised and expanded by Christopher Brown. 2 vols. National Gallery Catalogues. London, 1991: 1:303.
Wheelock, Arthur K., Jr. Dutch Paintings of the Seventeenth Century. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1995: 191.

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