Hendrick Avercamp

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Hendrick Avercamp Hendrick Avercamp.jpg
Hendrick Avercamp
Fun on the ice SCENEONICE.jpg
Fun on the ice
Winter Scene on a Canal Hendrick Avercamp - Winter Landscape - WGA1082.jpg
Winter Scene on a Canal

Hendrick Avercamp (January 27, 1585 (bapt.) May 15, 1634 (buried)) was a Dutch painter. Avercamp was born in Amsterdam, where he studied with the Danish-born portrait painter Pieter Isaacks (1569–1625), and perhaps also with David Vinckboons. In 1608 he moved from Amsterdam to Kampen in the province of Overijssel. Avercamp was deaf and mute and was known as "de Stomme van Kampen" (the mute of Kampen).

Netherlands Constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Europe

The Netherlands is a country located mainly in Northwestern Europe. The European portion of the Netherlands consists of twelve separate provinces that border Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, and the North Sea to the northwest, with maritime borders in the North Sea with Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom. Together with three island territories in the Caribbean Sea—Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba— it forms a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The official language is Dutch, but a secondary official language in the province of Friesland is West Frisian.

Amsterdam Capital city of the Netherlands and municipality

Amsterdam is the capital city and most populous municipality of the Netherlands. Its status as the capital is mandated by the Constitution of the Netherlands, although it is not the seat of the government, which is The Hague. Amsterdam has a population of 854,047 within the city proper, 1,357,675 in the urban area and 2,410,960 in the metropolitan area. The city is located in the province of North Holland in the west of the country but is not its capital, which is Haarlem. The Amsterdam metropolitan area comprises much of the northern part of the Randstad, one of the larger conurbations in Europe, which has a population of approximately 8.1 million.

David Vinckboons painter

David Vinckboons was a Dutch Golden Age painter born in Mechelen, Southern Netherlands. Vinckboons, whose name is often spelled as Vingboons, Vinghboons, Vinckebonis or Vinckboom, had at least ten children. His sons were the cartographer and watercolourist Johannes and the architects Justus and Philip. Vinckboons himself died in Amsterdam.

As one of the first landscape painters of the 17th-century Dutch school, he specialized in painting the Netherlands in winter. Avercamp's paintings are colorful and lively, with carefully crafted images of the people in the landscape. Many of Avercamp's paintings feature people ice skating on frozen lakes.

Avercamp's work enjoyed great popularity and he sold his drawings, many of which were tinted with water-color, as finished pictures to be pasted into the albums of collectors. The Royal Collection has an outstanding collection of his works.

Royal Collection Art collection of the British Royal Family

The Royal Collection of the British Royal family is the largest private art collection in the world.

Avercamp died in Kampen and was interred there in the Sint Nicolaaskerk.

Bovenkerk, Kampen

The Bovenkerk is a large, Gothic church and the most striking element on the skyline of Kampen, Overijssel, Netherlands. The interior of the church contains an early-Renaissance choir screen, a stone pulpit and a monumental organ. The church has 1,250 seats. It is a Reformed church.


Avercamp probably painted in his studio on the basis of sketches he had made in the winter. Avercamp was famous even abroad for his winter landscapes. The passion for painting skating characters probably came from his childhood as he practiced skating with his parents. The last quarter of the 16th century, during which Avercamp was born, was one of the coldest periods of the Little Ice Age.

Little Ice Age A period of cooling after the Medieval Warm Period that lasted from the 16th to the 19th century

The Little Ice Age (LIA) was a period of cooling that occurred after the Medieval Warm Period. Although it was not a true ice age, the term was introduced into scientific literature by François E. Matthes in 1939. It has been conventionally defined as a period extending from the 16th to the 19th centuries, but some experts prefer an alternative timespan from about 1300 to about 1850.

The Flemish painting tradition is mainly expressed in Avercamp's early work. This is consistent with the landscapes of Pieter Bruegel the Elder. Avercamp painted landscapes with a high horizon and many figures who are working on something. The paintings are narrative, with many anecdotes. For instance, included in the painting "Winter landscape with skaters" are several prurient details: a couple making love, naked buttocks, and a peeing male.

Pieter Bruegel the Elder Flemish Renaissance painter

Pieter Bruegelthe Elder was the most significant artist of Dutch and Flemish Renaissance painting, a painter and printmaker from Brabant, known for his landscapes and peasant scenes ; he was a pioneer in making both types of subject the focus in large paintings.

Winter Landscape with Skaters Hendrick Avercamp - Winterlandschap met ijsvermaak.jpg
Winter Landscape with Skaters

Later in his life drawing the atmosphere was also important in his work. The horizon also gradually dropped down under more and more air.

Avercamp used the painting technique of aerial perspective. The depth is suggested by change of color in the distance. To the front objects are painted in richer colors, such as trees or a boat, while farther objects are lighter. This technique strengthens the impression of depth in the painting.

Aerial perspective effect the atmosphere has on the appearance of an object as it is viewed from a distance

Aerial perspective or atmospheric perspective refers to the effect the atmosphere has on the appearance of an object as it is viewed from a distance. As the distance between an object and a viewer increases, the contrast between the object and its background decreases, and the contrast of any markings or details within the object also decreases. The colours of the object also become less saturated and shift towards the background colour, which is usually blue, but under some conditions may be some other colour.

Avercamp has also painted cattle and seascapes.

Sometimes Avercamp used paper frames, which were a cheap alternative to oil paintings. He first drew with pen and ink. This work was then covered with finishing paint. The contours of the drawing remained. Even with this technique, Avercamp could show the pale wintry colors and nuances of the ice .

Avercamp produced about a hundred paintings. The bulk of his artwork can be seen in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and the Mauritshuis in The Hague. From November 20, 2009 to February 15, 2010 the Rijksmuseum presented an exhibition of his work entitled "Little Ice Age".

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<i>A Winter Scene with Skaters near a Castle</i> painting by Hendrick Avercamp

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<i>Winter Landscape with Skaters</i> painting by Hendrick Avercamp

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