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ID number:  BIRBI-55.14/4
Institution:  The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Artist / Maker:  Velde, Jan van de (c. 1593-1641)
Title / Object name:  The Seasons: Winter
Object type:  Print
Place made:  Enkhuizen
Culture:  Dutch
Date made:  1617
Materials:  A set of 4 etchings
Measurements:  Paper: 267 x 355 mm; mount: 405 x 557 mm
Provenance:  Set purchased from Messrs. P & D. Colnaghi, August 1955, for £20

Van de Velde’s simple composition and fluent hatching captures the bleakness of a winter landscape. However, the Latin inscription at the bottom adds optimism to the scene. ‘Winter is not inactive, nor the cold wearisome … consider our young people. Behold, in severe frosty weather the rivers are worn down by iron-clad feet and lead extensive dances through the countryside.’ The frozen river is dotted with groups of children and young couples ice-skating and sledging. Van de Velde celebrates winter as an opportunity for young people to relax and play after the rigours of the autumn harvest.

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