Hendrick Avercamp (1585-1634) was the first artist to specialize in painting winter landscapes that feature people enjoying themselves on the ice. Scenes of skating, sleigh rides, and outdoor games on frozen canals and waterways bring to life the energetic pastimes and day-to-day bustle of the Golden Age. He made the ice scene a genre in its own right. Within these winter scenes there is also a social narrative: unencumbered by status, all classes formed one community on the ice, where they went about their daily business and celebrated the delights of the winter conditions.
For the first time in many years this virtuoso artist receives the attention he deserves. The authors explore every aspect of Avercamps work, from the weather conditions prevalent at the time to details of the clothes worn by the figures in his crowded scenes. Avercamp was also an outstanding draftsman who made individual figure studies that he utilized not only in his painted work but also in compositional drawings.