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Riding School, ca. 1660

Artist: Philips Wouwermans, Dutch, 1619 - 1668

Medium: Oil on wood panel

Painting: 15 x 12 1/2 in. (38.1 x 31.8 cm)
Frame: 22 3/4 x 20 5/8 in. (57.8 x 52.4 cm)

Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Morrie A. Moss

Object Number: 83.18

On View

Galerie Heinemann, Munich, May 16, 1911 - Sept. 7, 1911; Baron Jacques Leon Stern, New York, New York (sale, New York, Parke-Bernet Galleries Nov. 3, 1950, #39); Baron Nicolas de Koenigsberg, New York, New York; Gilbert Brouillette, New York, New York, 1956; Mr. and Mrs. Morrie A. Moss, Memphis, Tennessee, 1983 (donated through M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., New York, New York)

A Baroque painter of landscapes, battles, hunting scenes and animals, Philips Wouwermans might appropriately be called "the master of the white horse" because of his special fondness for including the animals in numerous  compositions.  Born in Haarlem and trained there by his painter father, Wouwermans may also have been a student of Frans Hals, and apparently was much influenced by Pieter Van Laer, a Dutch painter of genre subjects, those taken from everyday life, including peasant scenes and taverns.  In 1640 Wouwermans became a member of the local painters' guild and from this time until his death, he was extremely prolific and financially successful.


Starting for the Chase is a familiar hunting party subject. Wouwermans frequently used the theme of mounted figures and peasants or travelers on the roadside with picturesque ruins.  In this example, he has also included two of his unrivaled horses which reflect his particular skill in the depiction of motion and rippling muscles.  With fluid brushwork, he succeeds in rendering a balmy atmosphere with crisp color accents adding sparkle to the overall silver light.