Isack van Ostade

Dates1621 - 1649
BornHaarlem, The Netherlands
DiedHaarlem, The Netherlands

Scholars generally agree that, had he lived, Isack van Ostade would likely have proven the more talented of the two van Ostade brothers. His older brother Adriaen van Ostade trained him, but his early landscape studies suggest instruction by a landscape painter, possibly Salomon van Ruysdael, who sued Adriaen in 1640 for "sums due for board and tuition." Isack van Ostade's earliest dated picture is inscribed 1639. His first paintings were rustic interiors based on his brother's paintings, but after 1642 he focused on a unique combination of peasant genre and landscape. He often painted spirited winter scenes filled with people under subtly evoked skies. His favorite subject--people resting outside a house or inn--usually centered on a white horse.

He drew often, probably for the sheer pleasure of it; few of his drawings can be directly linked to paintings. Pen-and-ink was his favorite medium and, like Rembrandt van Rijn, he often used two different pens and inks in one drawing. In 1643 Isack both joined the painters' guild and committed himself to a new style. His manner took on an Italianate delicacy in the handling of figures, architecture, and foliage.

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