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Winter scene in Kampen, watercolour by Hendric Avercamp, 1615-20

Known as the ‘mute of Kampen’, Hendrick Avercamp  painted scenes of everyday life in villages and towns, especially winter landscapes. Kampen is a city in the Dutch province of Overijssel, located north-east of Amsterdam.

This watercolour demonstrates Avercamp’s skills as a draughtsman, and his ability to convey something of the hustle and bustle of life on the ice, such as the man carrying firewood and the people playing games or the sledges that go under and beyond the bridge. Watercolours such as this formed a significant portion of Avercamp’s output: they were usually monogrammed and intended for sale on the open market.