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Abraham van Calraet, Scene on the Ice outside Dordrecht

Key facts
Full title Scene on the Ice outside Dordrecht
Artist Abraham van Calraet
Artist dates 1642 - 1722
Date made about 1665
Medium and support Oil on oak
Dimensions 33.5 × 57.5 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Bought, 1915
Inventory number NG3024
Location On loan: Long Loan to the Dordrechts Museum (2024 - 2027), Dordrechts Museum, Dordrecht, Netherlands
Collection Main Collection
Scene on the Ice outside Dordrecht
Abraham van Calraet

Against a grey sky threatening snow, the people of Dordrecht are out on the ice. In the foreground, a man chats to a woman with a laden basket. The sharp pink of her jacket is echoed on the saddle cloth of one of the horses on the left, the vivid colour enlivening the muted browns and greys of the rest of the picture.

At the woman’s feet, a man propels himself across the frozen river on a strange contraption. Elsewhere people push sledges, ride in horse-drawn sleighs, carry fishing poles or simply skate. All this activity is watched by the two patient horses on the left, the last of the dying light catching the coat of the grey.

The view is taken from the north across the river Maas. In the background on the left is the Groothoofdspoort, a watergate which still survives although it was altered later. To its right is the Grote Kerk (Great Church) which is largely unchanged today.

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