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The game of golf was played in the Middle Ages, but it became particularly popular in seventeenth-century Holland. It was called kolf, and was played on the ice. European winters in the mid-seventeenth century were severe. Rivers and canals froze so solid that the life normally lived in a village moved out onto them.
Van der Neer imagined his landscape, but would have known the buildings and painted them from drawings. To eke out his existence as an artist he kept an inn, but in spite of his entertaining pictures, he died bankrupt.
Oil on canvas
H 39.5 x W 53 cm
Bequeathed by John Staniforth Beckett, 1889