In today’s Art Blogmas, I’m sharing one of my favourite winter paintings with you – Hendrick Avercamp’s Winter Landscape with Ice Skaters.

Art Blogmas 2020

Hendrick Avercamp was a Dutch 17th-century painter born in Amsterdam. He is the only painter whose work I’m hosting in our Art Blogmas that specialised in winter landscape paintings and was producing them the whole year-round.

Read more: 10 things you didn’t know about the Rijksmuseum

Hendrick Avercamp: Winter Landscape with Ice Skaters

Avercamp is using a bit of muted colours to show the depth of space. And soft grey and ocher to paint the light of a winter day. He’s also depicting the frozen river, something quite typical for the 17th-century winter in the Netherlands.

However, his focus on this winter landscape isn’t nature itself, but rather the people ice skating. He’s showing people from all kinds of different backgrounds – from rich to poor. Some of them are enjoying ice skating and some fun winter activities. We can also recognise them by the nice clothes they’re wearing.

On the other hand, Avercamp is also showing people who are just trying to survive the harsh winter. Many boats got stuck in a frozen river, and we can see fishermen who are trying to move them.

Read more: Rijksmuseum highlights

TIP: Click here for a better resolution image, so you can explore all the details on it.

He’s also including some anecdotal details, like, for example, a person who falls through the ice, people ice skating or slippering on the ice. There is also a beggar asking for some money from a group of wealthier people. And a person answering nature’s call in a wooden toilet.

There are some quite disturbing details represented in the painting, too. A group of dogs are eating a carcass of a horse on the very left-hand side of the image.

Hendrick Avercamp’s Winter Landscape with Ice Skaters is one of those paintings filled with numerous small details, fun stories and interesting elements, we could explore it for hours.

Watch my Rijksmuseum video to see more paintings from that museum:

If you don’t want to miss other paintings I’m going to share with you in this year’s Art Blogmas, be sure to check in here tomorrow at 7:30 am. Or, follow along on Culture Tourist Facebook page and Instagram profile.