Hendrick Avercamp is the most famous painter and drawer of Dutch winter landscapes from the 17th century. His paintings give us a good impression of the fun people had on the ice. Avercamp was born in Amsterdam as the son of a pharmacist, but he grew up in Kampen to where he moved to at the age of one. Resources of the 17th century tell us he was called ‘dump’, implying he could not speak and most likely was deaf. It is told that a local master tought him the principles of painting when he was twelve years old. This master passed away because of a plague. When he was older Hendrick Avercamp moved to Amsterdam to study painting. In 1607 Hendrick Avercamp was an apprentice of Pieter Isaacsz. Most likely before that he was an apprentice of Gillis van Coninxloo, a Flemish landscape painter. Finally he returned to Kampen where he lived until his death. Avercamp died at the age of 49 in 1634.
The work of Henrick Avercamp
Hendrick Avercamp is mostly known for his winter landscapes. It is most likely that his love for these landscapes is a result of his childhood, when he often skated on the ice with his parents. Avercamp was born in the last quarter of the 16th century, known as one of the coldest at that time. His landscapes are telling stories and he inserted a lot of naughty anecdotic details. Only in his later years his state of mind influenced his paintings.