Winter with Thomas Heeremans

Spring has come, even though the nights are chillier than usual for Vancouver. My family in Alberta reported a snowfall with minus zero temperatures. So, in keeping with the lingering winter, here is Thomas Heeremans, a Dutch painter and art dealer, who lived from 1641-1694

I searched the internet and brought out all of my books that have such titles as, “A History of Painting from Prehistoric Times to the Present Day”, to find out more about Thomas Heeremans. Alas, there is very little written other than he is known for his landscapes of winter scenes, cityscapes, harbor scenes, beach views, river views and village scenes.

Thomas Heereman – Winter Landscape with people having fun on the ice.

Jackson Pollock once said that, “Painting is self-discovery. Every good artist paints what he is.” That is true for Thomas Heeremans. We know that he was married twice and had 6 children, which gives background into his “happy” winter scenes. I imagine him with his children having fun on the ice. Thomas Heeremans lived his entire life in Haarlem, Netherlands.

Thomas Heeremans – Winter Landscape with figure skating and sledging on a frozen moat by a fortified town.

Haarlem, located on the river Spaarne, is about 20 kilometers west of Amsterdam and near the coastal dunes. For those who are longing for the tulips to arrive this spring, you will be pleased to know that, for centuries, Haarlem has been known as the historical centre of the tulip bulb-growing district. Its nickname is “Bloemenstad” or Flower City.

Several paintings by Thomas Heeremans are located at the Rijksmuseum. His paintings provide a glimpse into his world, We gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the social structures, the work and recreational activities of the time in which he lived.

10 Replies to “Winter with Thomas Heeremans”

  1. AHHHH, this is so interesting and educational. I had never heard of this gentleman before. (What a loss) The winter scenes tell us so much about his place in the world. I spent time looking at the variety of people enjoying the ice, no doubt looking forward to the tulips soon to arrive in the springtime air. What a historical commentary on his world. Thank you for looking for this artist and his contribution to our artistic, historical world.

    1. I am enjoying these “series” – the next will be about houses and interiors of houses – because I am finding artists that I never knew about. Most of us will recognize Monet, Matisse, Raphael, but there are so many more that bring history alive with their interpretations.

  2. Excellent post, Clanmother! Like you, I had never heard of Thomas Heeremans before. I’m very impressed with the two paintings you showed!

    1. Thank you, Dave! Here’s a thought that I have been thinking about. What gets forgotten and what is remembered in the collective consciousness. Thornton Wilder in “The Bridge of San Luis Rey” wrote “We ourselves shall be loved for awhile and forgotten. But the love will have been enough; all those impulses
      of love return to the love that made them. Even memory is not necessary for love. There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning.” But there are some things that are written or painted that are remembered. A good podcast discussion….stay tuned! Have a wonderful weekend.

      1. Wow, another wonderful quote, Clanmother! Thornton Wilder was quite eloquent, and had a lot of insight into “the human condition.” Have a great weekend, too!

    1. You are so very very lucky, Marina. When I was In Amsterdam a few years ago, the museum was closed for some reason – I think it was our timing. Isn’t it interesting how artwork provides us with the stories of what happened years and centuries ago. In these uncertain times, it is the act of creativity that brings resilience. Many hugs coming your way.

      1. Oh…. we’ve all had such timings…
        You are so right on creativity!
        Many many hugs back and love! xoxoxo

    1. I had never heard of Thomas Heeremans before so when I viewed his paintings I was amazed by the stories that are held in each one. I felt like all I had to do is step through my monitor and find myself in the 1600’s. Now wouldn’t that be an excellent move/book plot!!

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