Manchester Art Gallery

Interior with Peasants and School Children

Object description

Mischievous children often appear in Molenaer's early work. Here, the schoolmaster is disciplining a boy, while other children look on or continue with their own activities. Molenaer uses gesturing figures and smiling faces to attract the viewer's attention and add humour. A native of Haarlem, Molenaer was one of a group of followers of Frans Hals who specialised in comic genre painting. From the 1640s, he painted in low-life genre scenes in the style of Adraien van Ostade (1610-1684). This crowded peasant scene is typical of Molenaer's later work.

Display label

Interior with peasants and school children about 1635 Jan Miensz Molenaer 1610-68 Oil on panel Mischievous children often appear in Molenaer’s early work. Here, the schoolmaster is disciplining a boy, while other children look on, or continue with their own activities. Molenaer uses gesturing figures and smiling faces to attract the viewer’s attention and add humour. Not much is known about Molenaer’s artistic training, but he possibly spent time with the great portrait painter Frans Hals in Haarlem. Assheton Bennett bequest 1979.478