Cornelis Droochsloot was a son of Joost Cornelisz Droochsloot (1586 – 1666), the prolific Utrecht painter of village scenes, landscapes, genre pictures, moral allegories and biblical stories.
The present charming and well preserved pair by Cornelis Droochsloot show several groups of children engrossed in different kind of playing. On the square of a village we see two boys blowing a bladder as if it is a balloon, an elegantly dressed young fellow is running with a hoop, two boys are walking on stilts and in the centre a group is parading as young soldiers of a civic guard. Near the village pump three youngsters are bowling. The second painting shows two girls on hobby horses, three lads are jumping leapfrog, while others play different games while one is playing a little violin. The joyful playing takes place near a moat, a castle beyond at the right. Typical of Cornelis Droochsloot´s imagery is the scant use of shadow, his figures and architecture cast very little shadow on their surroundings.
As in the works of his father, the architecture in the present paintings is used to provide scale and structure to the suggested space. The buildings function as coulisses on a stage of a play. The figures of the young people show, in the way they are executed, the influence of Esaias van de Velde, who died in 1630. On stylistic grounds we might assume these are relatively early works executed before 1660.
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