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Title: Scene on the Ice
Date: c.1620
Medium: Oil on wood panel
Signed: lower left: HA [in monogram]
Credit Line: Presented, T. Humphry Ward, 1900
Object Number: NGI.496
DescriptionAvercamp spent most of his life in Kampen, a trading and ?shing town in the eastern part of the Dutch Republic. His reputation rests on his winter landscapes containing small, ice-skating ?gures. Avercamp was the ?rst artist in Holland to paint such scenes although the tradition of this kind of work goes back to the Flemish artist Pieter Bruegel the Elder, who had taught Avercamp’s principal master, Pieter Isaacsz. Avercamp’s pictures are unique in their combination of panoramic scope with anecdotal detail. His observant depiction of this everyday scene includes such minutiae as a hole cut in the ice for ?shing, some children listening to an old woman and a man sitting on an outdoor toilet. Avercamp also represented people from different social classes enjoying themselves on the ice. Details such as trees, drawbridges and sailing boats are found in many of his paintings. The feel of a leaden sky at the heart of winter is well expressed here.
ProvenancePresented, T. Humphry Ward, 1900
Exhibition HistoryMaster European Paintings from the National Gallery of Ireland, Art Institute of Chicago, 6 June - 9 August 1992; Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, 19 September - 6 December 1992; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 13 January - 28 March 1993; IBM Gallery, New York, 27 April - 26 June 1993

Hendrick Avercamp (1585-1634). The Little Ice Age, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, 19 November 2009 - 15 February 2010; National Gallery of Art, Washington, 21 March - 5 July 2010

Masterpieces of the Dutch Golden Age, Ulster Museum, Belfast, 12 September 2019 - 26 January 2020

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