“De Haarlemmermeer, Ao 1625”. Etching made made by Simon Fokke (active 1722-1784) mid 18th century, after a drawing by Hendrick Avercamp. Later met de hand gekleurd. Afm. (plaatrand) 21,6 x 31,7 cm.
For centuries the Dutch get excited as soon as it starts freezing. Young and old, rich and poor keep a close eye on canals, rivers and lakes when temperatures drop. No one has depicted this connection with winter more beautifully than Hendrik Avercamp (1585-1634). It was he who made the ‘ice scene’ into an independent genre at the beginning of the 17th century. He was the first artist to specialize in painting winter landscapes with entertainment on the ice. In his composition of scenes, you will find all pleasures related to being on the ice.
In this depiction of a frozen Haarlemmermeer in front we see fishermen working with a net, gentlemen playing kolf (the Dutch game of early golf), and a hunter carrying a gun and a duck that he caught. In the backgrond there is a ship locked in the ice. Skaters enjoy themselves and people ride horse drawn sleighs.
There is a timelessness in Avercamp’s scenes that is still recognizable today. It is for this reason that Avercamp’s winter landscapes are considered among the most important, typically ‘Dutch’ scenes from the 17th century.
Hendrick Avercamp (1585-1634) was active during the Dutch Golden Age of painting. He was one of the earliest landscape painters of the 17th-century Dutch school, he specialized in painting the Netherlands in winter. His works is colorful and lively, with carefully crafted images of the people in the landscape. His works give a vivid depiction of sport and leisure in the Netherlands in the beginning of the 17th century.