Skip to main content

Hendrick Avercamp

1585 - 1634

Hendrick Barentsz. Avercamp was a non-verbal (and probably deaf) artist known as 'the Mute of Kampen' (de stom van Campen). He specialised in painting winter scenes. His paintings must have appealed to Dutch patriots as representing the landscape and life of the newly formed Republic of the United Provinces of the Netherlands.

Avercamp was born in Amsterdam, and trained there probably with Pieter Isaacsz. His manner was based in the first place on that of the Flemish followers of Pieter Bruegel the Elder. He presumably came into contact with one of Bruegel's followers who had settled in Amsterdam, such as David Vinckboons.His nephew Barent Avercamp (1621-79) imitated his style of painting. Others followed his approach, for example, Arent Arentsz.

His carefully characterised groups of small figures are drawn together in the paintings through subtly graduated colour. His pictures were composed in the studio from acutely observed watercolour drawings.