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Throughout his career Ostade painted and etched scenes of people earning their living. Shopping scenes, in keeping with the commercial values of the northern Netherlands, were also favoured by Dutch artists and collectors from the seventeenth century onwards (cf. Metsu P234 and Willem van Mieris P220). Ostade painted a number of such subjects in the 1660s and 1670s, and the present picture has the broader handling, brighter palette and larger figures of his later works.
oil on canvas
H 40.3 x W 35.7 cm
acquired by Richard Seymour-Conway, 4th Marquess of Hertford, 1843; bequeathed to the nation by Lady Wallace, 1897