Halt of Cavaliers at an Inn
Although dating can be problematic in this artist's considerable oeuvre, there is one useful distinction in his early work: before 1646 he used a different monogram - 'PH W'. Post-1646, he changed his signature to PHILS .W (PHILS in monogram). This painting is therefore certainly pre-1646, and art historian F. Duparc suggested that DPG77 dates from 1642–43. Here the influence of Pieter van Laer is at its clearest, in terms of its strongly diagonal composition, its earthy colours, and the focus on the beautifully-observed interaction of resting 'cavaliers' in the foreground. Even the horses reflect the more down-to-earth aesthetic of Van Laer, and the furthest right of the three is similiar to the horse in Van Laer's Landscape with Hunters, now in the Mauritshuis, dated to just after Van Laer's return to Haarlem in 1639.