Verdex
Verdex
23 January, 22:40

Skaters on Ice: Four Dutch Winter Landscapes

Skaters on Ice: Four Dutch Winter Landscapes
The first skates appeared in the III-II millennium BC. e., they were used by the inhabitants of the north when crossing frozen rivers and lakes. In the Middle Ages, ice skating was a popular pastime, and with the advent of landscape painting, it became one of the topics that artists repeatedly turned to. Among these painters, a special place is occupied by the Dutch masters, famous for their winter landscapes.

To begin with, it is worth mentioning "Winter Landscape with Skaters and a Bird Trap", painted by Pieter Brueghel the Elder in 1565. Unlike the rest of the works presented below, Brueghel does not focus on human figures, they are all small and can be seen somewhere in the distance. It is believed that the artist drew a parallel between people and birds: the former ran onto the ice for fun, the latter are about to fall into a trap. Both those and others are in invisible danger, putting themselves at risk. As if Brueghel is trying to warn about this threat.
In 1611, Adam van Bryn, representative of the Dutch Golden Age, completed his work Skating on the Frozen River Amstel. The landscape painter painted his work near Amsterdam, this place can be found today, knowing the surroundings well. In the distance you can see the spiers of the city's churches, one of which is the oldest building in the city, a Gothic church in the center of Amsterdam. Van Bryn's attention to detail also provides insight into early 17th-century Dutch fashion.
Another Dutch painter, Anthony Beerstaaten, in his work "Skating at the City Wall" (XVII century), brought to the fore the sports entertainment of a bygone era. This is one of the early versions of modern hockey - similar games were popular in the Netherlands, and we see characters with clubs in the same Brueghel. And in the distance, someone ventured a ride in a boat pulled by a harnessed horse. Sepia tones give a special charm to the picture.
"Competitions in figure skating among women" (1809) by Nikolaas Baur is a rather unusual picture. Perhaps the artist decided to document the competition for one reason: a scandal erupted during the competition, as some of the participants took off their raincoats and bared their hands. Such behavior was unacceptable in society, and in the future such competitions had to be canceled. The crowds of people who gathered to watch the spectacle testify to the great interest in figure skating.

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