Hendrick Avercamp was a famous Dutch painter. He lived in the 1600s, when the many canals and rivers in the Netherlands froze solid every winter. Hendrick specialized in painting these frosty winter scenes.
Hendrick was known as the “Mute of Kampen,” because he didn’t speak very much. (Kampen was his hometown.) He was probably deaf, and some people think his inability to hear made Hendrick pay closer attention to the way people and places appeared and interacted with each other.
This big painting is actually made up of dozens of small scenes. (“Winter Landscape with Skaters” is about 77 centimeters (2.5 feet) tall and 132 centimeters (4 feet) wide.) Read the “Fast Facts” to see if you can spot a few!
“Winter Landscape with Skaters” is a community portrait packed with individual scenes. Use our zoom feature (+ button) to see if you can spot these details:
- little girl running to meet her father
- skates with curled-up toes (a sign of luxury and wealth)
- men carrying long fishing poles for ice-fishing
- crows eating the rotting carcass of a cow
- man who fell face-down on the ice
- horse-drawn sledges (horses had to have special, sharp winter shoes in order to navigate the ice without slipping!)
- richly dressed women ignoring a poor beggar
- the artist’s signature (HAenricus Av)
- man sitting down to put on his skates
- man carrying a sheath of winter wheat
- boy in a sledge pushed by his mother
- onion-shaped dome of a church or town hall
- man hacking a hole in the ice for ice-fishing
- four men holding each other’s waists in a “line” of skaters
- Dutch flag
- people playing kolf—a popular combination of hockey and golf
- fishing net hung up for the winter season
- boat seeming to “sail” across the ice (based on a real Dutch vessel!)
- someone’s bare bottom!
heavy, woven cloth.
group of organisms or a social group interacting in a specific region under similar environmental conditions.
unable to hear.
to illustrate or show.
a group of 12.
coming from or having to do with the Netherlands (Holland).
to thrive or be successful.
thin coat of ice covering objects when the dew point is below freezing.
plan or occurrence that creates a false belief.
to work with or meet.
the geographic features of a region.
to mix or combine with.
person who doesn't speak.
natural or real representation of everyday experiences.
to study, work, or take an interest in one area of a larger field of ideas.
method of doing something.
buying, selling, or exchanging of goods and services.