Hendrick Avercamp (1585 – 1634)

He’s not as famous as Rembrandt or Vermeer, but no painter of the Dutch Golden Age – which corresponded with one of the coldest periods of the last millennium – depicted the frozen Low Countries with the frequency and sensitivity of Avercamp.

Born deaf and mute, he learned to skate as a child and became a specialist in winter scenes, which collectors bought as paintings and prints. Like most of his winter landscapes, this one makes brilliant use of one-point perspective: in the foreground we see fashionable skaters and masked revellers on horse-drawn sleighs, while other sliders, some adept and some less so, extend out to the horizon.


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