The Wonderfully Dark Undertones of Hendrick Avercamp’s Winter Landscape

Uncovering tiny details that bring this work alive

Christopher P Jones
5 min readSep 6, 2022

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Winter Landscape with Ice Skaters (c. 1608) by Hendrick Avercamp. Oil on panel. 77.3 × 131.9 cm. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands. Image source Rijksmuseum (open access)

In the new year of 1608, an exceptionally cold winter gripped much of Europe.

In Germany, the River Rhine froze over all the way up to Cologne. In London, it was so cold that the Thames froze solid and became an impromptu fairground…

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