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Joost Cornelisz. Droochsloot, 1629

Winter Landscape with Skaters and a Colf Player, 1629, by Joost Cornelisz. Droochsloot (Utrecht, The Netherlands 1585 - 1666, Utrecht)

Droochsloot was the only artist in the Utrecht school who cultivated the painting of scenes featuring winter landscapes and pastimes, a favourite genre in sixteenth -and seventeenth- century Dutch painting.
This scene is not painted from nature, but draws on Flemish compositions produced by the circle of Pieter Brueghel the Elder (1525-1569), featuring large numbers of people from different social backgrounds that make up a series of smaller genre scenes. Even the members of the bourgeoisie are dressed in the fashion of the end of the sixteenth century, like the lady in the foreground with an oddlooking hat. Moreover, the spatial arrangement-with figures depicted in an elevated foreground and a brightly -lit scene spreading out behind them into a blue horizon- is a transposition to genre painting of the compositional structure typical in the great Flemish battle scenes.
The Centraal Museum in Utrecht has another very similar scene, Merrymaking in a Winter Landscape (inv. 11053), signed and dated in 1632, which came from Fyvie Castle in Aberdeen. This type of picture may have been part of a series devoted to the Four Seasons (Posada Kubissa, T.: Pintura holandesa en el Museo Nacional del Prado. Catálogo razonado, 2009, p. 302).

Oil on canvas

Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, España

Source: Do Smit

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