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
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