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Un Univers intime. Paintings from the Frits Lugt Collection
english | français
Jan van Goyen
(Leiden 1596-1656 The Hague)
Skating on the Merwede near Dordrecht
Panel, 39.2 x 58.5 cm; monogrammed and dated 1646
Acquired in 1919; inv. 394

In 1638 Jan van Goyen went back to painting winter landscapes, a genre to which he made an essential contribution. The examples from the 1640s were executed almost in monochrome with a very few light touches of colour and sometimes, as in this painting, in an extremely sketchy way. The countless figures – skaters, kolf players, sleigh riders – are perfectly subordinated to the evocation of the wintry atmosphere. On the horizon is Dordrecht’s Grote Kerk, and nearer to the centre, almost at the vanishing point of the perspective, the tower of the Huys te Merwede can be distinguished, which had been standing isolated in the river since the St Elizabeth’s flood of 1421.