Skip to main content

Hendrick Avercamp, A Scene on the Ice near a Town

Key facts
Full title A Scene on the Ice near a Town
Artist Hendrick Avercamp
Artist dates 1585 - 1634
Date made about 1615
Medium and support Oil on oak
Dimensions 58 × 89.8 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Bought, 1896
Inventory number NG1479
Location Room 16
Collection Main Collection
A Scene on the Ice near a Town
Hendrick Avercamp

In the seventeenth century the Little Ice Age settled over Northern Europe. Rivers and canals in Holland froze over and people took to the ice for work, leisure – and accidents. Hendrik Avercamp, just starting out as an artist, took to it too. His life’s work became the depiction of winter scenes full of incident with the people he knew and had grown up with as his characters. Under the grey light of a winter’s day, they continued their lives almost unchanged – they did business, gossiped, tended children, had fun – but sped up on skates.

Avercamp’s painting is one to explore. Endless stories and character sketches are there for the curious eye to discover: the man pointing up the skirts of a girl who has taken a tumble; people playing kolf, forerunner of golf; an old man on a chair, thought to personify winter. Over all is the flag of the newly independent Dutch Republic, to be regarded by the Dutch owner of the picture with pride.

Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.

License this image

License and download a high-resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low-resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Download low-resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo