Wouwerman was the leading horse painter of the seventeenth century, and painted mainly hunting scenes and landscapes with horsemen. This battle scene is his largest painting. The horses, cavalrymen and infantry form an almost inextricable tangle. Only the rider in the red jacket on the white horse really stands out.
In the eighteenth century, Wouwerman’s paintings were in great demand from the European elite. Stadholder Prince Willem V of Orange had no fewer than nine of them – they now form part of the collection of the Mauritshuis.
Benjamin da Costa, The Hague, 1764; Prince William V, The Hague, 1764-1795; confiscated by the French, transferred to the Muséum Central des Arts/Musée Napoléon (Musée du Louvre), Paris, 1795-1815; Royal Picture Gallery, housed in the Prince William V Gallery, The Hague, 1816; transferred to the Mauritshuis, 1822