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'The Horse Fair' is the most famous of the pictures by Wouwerman in The Wallace Collection. The picture demonstrates Wouwerman’s strengths as a landscapist in creating subtle evocations of a vaguely Mediterranean or Italianate terrain and atmosphere. The technical virtuosity of the handling and the picture’s decorative quality won it great renown in eighteenth-century France. One commentator wrote that, ‘no picture by Wouvermans surpasses this in its fine touch, fresh colouring and brilliance which exceeds the imagination’.
oil on mahogany panel
H 64.3 x W 88.4 cm
acquired by Richard Seymour-Conway, 4th Marquess of Hertford, 1854; bequeathed to the nation by Lady Wallace, 1897