A Farrier's Shop with a White Horse being Shod

Artist or maker:
Wouwerman, Philips (b.1619, d.1668)
dated stylistically
Place of production:
Holland, Netherlands
oil on panel
Type of object:
Accession number:


Philips Wouverman painted over twenty works depicting blacksmiths or horses being shod, several of which include the detail of the scaffold holding the horse in place as in this painting. Wouwerman specialised in depictions of horses. This subject was one of the many - including battles and horse riding schools - that allowed the artist to demonstrate his skill at rendering horses.

The horse in the scaffold is being held with a horse barnacle, used to restrain a horse by holding its mouth or nose whilst it was shod. The background is not painted as well as the figures suggesting this part of the work was not painted by Wouverman, but by members of his workshop which may have included his brother Pieter. In the 1660s, Wouverman often used methods that allowed him to produce works quickly such as stock poses for the figures and for the horses. These works do not tend to show his ability to integrate the figures into the landscape as in his earlier work.

Wouverman's paintings were very popular with 18th century French collectors. This painting was owned by a Frenchman called Leboeuf before 1783. It came to Waddesdon via James de Rothschild who inherited it from his father who lived in Paris. There were already two paintings by Wouverman at Waddesdon. One was bought by Ferdinand but the other was inherited from his father who lived in Vienna. Dutch 17th century paintings were part of the Rothschild taste shared by different members of the family.

Phillippa Plock, 2011

Physical description

Dimensions (mm):
349 x 410
338 x 398 - sight
Signature & date:
possibly signed with monogram, lower right
A' de Lahante / V
on verso

No. 32 / B.J.
on verso

Caisse No. 10. / Wouvermans
on verso

Chenu - Paris
on verso


Owned by Leboeuf (d.Circa 1783); sold anonymous (=Leboeuf) sale, Paris 8-12 April 1783, lot 44, with pendant (Hofstede de Groot, no. 774); bought by Hamont from the Leboeuf sale; sold B ... sale, Paris, 3 December 1827, lot 5, bought de la Hante; acquired by Baron James de Rothschild (b.1792, d.1868) before 1868; by descent to his son Baron Edmond de Rothschild (b.1845, d.1934); by descent to his son James de Rothschild (b.1878, d.1957); accepted by The Treasury Solicitor in lieu of taxes on the Estate of Mr James de Rothschild in 1963; given to Waddesdon The Rothschild Collection (The National Trust) in 1990.
Waddesdon (National Trust)
Accepted by HM Government in lieu of inheritance tax and allocated to the National Trust for display at Waddesdon Manor, 1990



John Smith; A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch, Flemish and French Painters; 9 vols; London; Smith and Son; 1829-1842; vol. 1, no. 161
Cornelis Hofstede de Groot; A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch Painters of the Seventeenth Century. Vols 1-4 [1907-1927]; Bishops Stortford; Chadwick Healey; 1976; vol. 2, nos 140 and 158
Ellis Waterhouse, Anthony Blunt; Paintings: The James A. de Rothschild Collection at Waddesdon Manor; Fribourg; Office du Livre, The National Trust; 1967; p. 184, cat. no. 79, ill.
Christopher Wright; Dutch Painting in the Seventeenth Century: Images of a Golden Age in British Collections; Birmingham City Museum and Art Gallery, October 1989 - January 1990; London; Lund Humphries Publishers (London); 1989; p. 269
Birgit Schumacher; Philips Wouwerman: The Horse Painter of the Golden Age; Doornspijk; Davaco Publishers; 2006; p. 177, cat. no. A21, pl. 20

Indexed terms