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Art Diary

On Thin Ice: Dutch Depictions of Extreme Weather

24 May 2024

The centuries-long ‘Little Ice Age’ which peaked in the 17th century plunged the Northern Hemisphere into a period of unprecedented cold. Those in the Low Countries faced particular extremes, with towns remaining snow-capped and waterways frozen well into summer. Daily life amid the bitter weather was documented by artists across the region, with paintings by artists such as Hendrick Avercamp showing townspeople fishing, sledding, ice skating and playing games of ‘colf’ – a sport similar to golf – on the ice. A selection of these wintery landscapes is on display in this exhibition at the Getty Center, which captures how the Dutch people survived and even found joy in such harsh conditions (28 May–1 September). Find out more from the Getty Center’s website.

Preview below | View Apollo’s Art Diary

Winter Landscape with Figures (c. 1723), Jan Berents. J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

A Winter Scene with Two Gentlemen Playing Colf (c. 1615–20), Hendrick Avercamp. J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

A Winter Scene (1787), Hendrik Meyer. J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles