Winter with Hendrick Avercamp

Hendrik Avercamp – Winter Scene on a Canal (Public Domain)

March holds the honour of transitioning Winter to Spring.  It is a huge undertaking because Winter lingers while Spring comes out of a deep sleep. Perhaps that is why we experience the ever-changing weather patterns of March, which appear to be in a tug-of-war, with wind and rain one day, and sunshine the next.

Hendrick Avercamp – Winter Landscape with Skaters (Public Domain)

I am celebrating Winter’s last hurrah, with Dutch painter Hendrick Avercamp (January 27, 1583 – May 15, 1634). Hendrick was one of the first landscape painters of the 17th-century Dutch school.  He loved the season of winter, which is beautifully demonstrated in his landscape paintings of the Netherlands in winter.   For him, winter was a time of energy and festivity, delightfully shown in his depictions of community events that are captured in his art.  The streets are filled with people in group discussions, engaged in work or having fun ice skating on frozen canals. Ice skaters were a recurring theme. As a child, Hendrick enjoyed ice skating with his parents. Interestingly, he lived during the coldest period of what is known as the “Little Ice Age” which occurred in the last quarter of the 16th century. 

Known as “de Stomme van Kampen” (the mute of Kampen), Hendrick worked beyond his disabilities of being deaf and mute.

Watercolor by Hendrick Avercamp: A Scene on the Ice, IJsvermaak (Public Domain)

Hendrick’s artwork was extremely popular in his lifetime.  He became known for his winter scenes beyond the borders of the Netherlands.  Even today, he garners respect for his art. In 1980, the British television series broadcast 100 Great Painting. Hendrick’s Winter Scene on a Canal (c. 1630) was included in this series.  

Hendrick Avercamp – Winter Landscape on a Canal (Public Domain)

7 Comments »

    • Ich liebe diese Bilder auch! Sie zeigen eine Gemeinschaft, die zusammen arbeitet und Spaß hat. Es gibt Hoffnung in einer Zeit der Unsicherheit. Vielen Dank für Ihre Besuche und Kommentare. Also sehr geschätzt.

  1. Thank you for sharing these lovely scenes of ‘ijsvermaak’, which means ‘ice entertainment’ 😀That’s why we say in the Netherlands that the winters are not what they used to be 😄

    • I was thinking of your especially when I was viewing Hendrick’s amazing paintings. I grew up in the north and remember the times when I could skate on the lakes. It was so calm, tranquil. I understand why Hendrick would include skaters in his paintings. Interesting that you would say “winters are not what they used to be.” There is a collective memory in us!!!

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