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The scale of the figures and horses, placed before an extensive Italianate landscape, implies that this is a transitional work, painted in the 1650s between the artist’s early and middle periods. Pentimenti reveal that Wouwermans erased a goat and two cows to the right of the standing lady and two ducks behind the left-hand figure group. This created a tighter composition and focused attention upon the elegant couple at the centre of the picture, thereby adding to the mood of ambiguous gallantry (cf.
oil on oak panel
42.2 x 52.9 cm
acquired by Richard Seymour-Conway, 4th Marquess of Hertford, 1848; bequeathed to the nation by Lady Wallace, 1897