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From the 1640s to the 1660s the Low Countries experienced a series of severe winters, and canals and rivers froze hard for weeks at a time. This wintry transformation of the towns and landscapes caught the imagination of many local artists, and Aert van der Neer was one of those who specialised in such scenes.
The figures here are types, carefully positioned for effect, rather than representing a snapshot of people at a real moment in time. They seem a rather lonely collection, with lots of single figures scattered about the ice.
Oil on wood
H 26.4 x W 40.5 cm
Wynn Ellis Bequest, 1876