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The Outskirts of a Village, with a Horseman

Photo credit: The National Gallery, London

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Life seems to amble along in this painting: there’s time for the horseman to pause, for the man beside him to communicate with his dogs and for two people to chat. The countryside setting appears almost timeless, though Isack van Ostade has explored the effects of time. Light flickers up the wall of the old, crumbling house, revealing the rich browns and ochre of the brick, the wood and the rusting metal. Smoke comes from the chimney although the house seems otherwise deserted, its thatch thinning and weeds growing from the roof.

The National Gallery, London





Oil on oak


H 56.8 x W 49.7 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Bought, 1871

Work type



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Normally on display at

The National Gallery, London

Trafalgar Square, London, Greater London WC2N 5DN England

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