Hendrick Avercamp (1585-1634) was a Dutch painter born in Amsterdam and active in Kampen. The most famous exponent of the winter landscape, he was deaf and dumb and known as "de Stomme van Kampen" (the mute of Kampen). As one of the first landscape painters of the 17th century Dutch school, Avercamp links the archaic decorative conception of Flemish origins and the new realist and objective ambitions developped in Holland by Essaias van de Velde and Jan van Goyen.

Avercamp's landscapes are colorful and lively, with carefully observed skaters, tobogganers, golfers, and pedestrians. His paintings have a predominantly narrative quality, including numerous rather daring anecdotes. His style can be characterized by a high horizon, vivid and chatoyant colors distributed all over the painting, tree branches drawn over the snow or the sky, an archaic sense of perspective and a taste for circular formats focusing on the layout of the depicted scenes. His little people are depicted in black over a white background and are busy each with a slightly different daily task. Avercamp's work enjoyed great popularity and he sold his drawings, many of which are tinted with watercolor, as finished pictures to be pasted into the albums of collectors (an outstanding collection is at Windsor Castle).


"River Landscape" Pen drawing and watercolor on paper, 18.4 x 28.4 cm - 7.2 x 11.2 in. Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, Belgium.

"Winter Landscape" Oil on wood, 29.4 x 46.4 cm - 11.6 x 18.3 in. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria.

"Ice Landscape" Oil on canvas. Staatliche Museen, Schwerin, Germany.

"Winter Landscape with Iceskaters" (circa 1608) Oil on panel, 87.5 x 132 cm - 34.4 x 52 in. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


"Fishermen by Moonlight" (circa 1625) Pen with brown and black, brush with bodycolor, 14.4 x 19.5 cm - 5.7 x 7.7 in. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


"Ice Scene" Oil on canvas. Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller, Otterlo, The Netherlands.

"A Scene on the Ice" Watercolor, 19 x 31 cm - 7.5 x 12.2 in. Teylers Museum, Haarlem, The Netherlands.

"Winter Scene on a Canal" (circa 1632) Oil on wood. Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, Ohio, USA.

"A Scene on the Ice near a Town" (circa 1615) Oil on wood, 58 x 89.8 cm - 22.8 x 35.4 in. National Gallery, London, UK.

"Enjoying the Ice" (circa 1630-34) Oil on canvas, 25 × 37.5 cm - 9.8 x 14.8 in. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Text source: 'Webmuseum' (www.ibiblio.org/wm) and others.

Related Terms: Realism, Watercolor, Perspective.

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