Strap-on your skates

Winter Landscape with Skaters  or Winterlandschap met Ijsvermaak is a c.1608 oil on oak painting by the Dutch artist Hendrick Avercamp in the collection of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.The painting shows ice skaters of all sorts enjoying a day on a frozen river. People dressed up stand among villagers going about their daily chores. A dog chews on a dead carcass in the lower left corner. A boat sails away on a sled in the background as a group of fishermen make efforts to free a frozen sailboat in the foreground. A bird trap is seen to the left among other farm implements and the whole scene is overshadowed by a church to the left.

Winter Landscape with Skaters is considered one of Avercamp’s earliest works, and is painted in a style strongly reminiscent of Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s 1565 painting Winter Landscape with Ice skaters and Bird trap. Some aspects of this picture are taken directly from Bruegel’s works, such as the “bird trap” which also appears in other works by Avercamp. He was influenced in his subject by the Little Ice Age, particularly the cold winter of 1607–08, and was the first of the Dutch painters to specialize in snow scenes.

French artist Francine Leclercq has given the 17th century work a 21st century update with gif animation.

 

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