Winter Skating Scene after Vermeulen Anno 1700 - watercolour painting


An original watercolour painting Winter Skating Scene after Vermeulen Anno 1700.

This atmospheric winter landscape is in the Flemish tradition and snow scene genre invented by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. In 1565 the coldest winter in memory and the subsequent Little Ice Age in northern Europe provided subject for new snow scene paintings by Bruegel and Hendrick Avercamp. The sudden change in weather was a shock but also a novelty, as communities adapted to the new icy conditions, learning ice skating and new methods of working.

This early 19th-century watercolour with pen and ink depicts a busy working scene with fishermen. Holes are cut in the ice surface, a net is being pulled up at the left-hand side, and barrels are being packed and transported. The austerity of the icy landscape is counterbalanced by the energetic and characterful narrative being played out in the foreground.

Andries Vermeulen (1763-1814) was a landscape painter born in Dordrecht. He was taught by his father, Cornelis Vermeulen. He worked for some time in Amsterdam, where he died.

On laid paper with encircled lion rampant watermark.

Inscribed upper left. Inscribed "Anno 1700" verso.
Generally in good condition, there is minor age toning and marks to the paper.
14.2cm x 18.8cm.

This work is from an outstanding collection of pictures once owned by the Bateman family of Middleton Hall, by Youlgrave in Derbyshire (see photograph of bookplate). The Bateman family had ample means to amass a collection of the highest quality, and the family were scholarly and learned, with a special interest in history. Some of the works in this collection are inscribed “TB” verso, presumed to be Thomas Bateman Jnr (1821-1861), who was an English antiquary and barrow-digger. The collection includes exceptional gems, such as 17th-century Dutch watercolours and drawings by Followers of Dutch Golden Age artists Adriaen Van der Velde and Dirk Stoop. There are also paintings related to archaeological excavation and barrow-digging.

Middleton Hall was built by Roger Bateman in 1626; by 1820 it came into the possession of Thomas Bateman Snr (1760-1847), a staunch nonconformist and wealthy cotton magnate. Thomas had a son, William (1787-1835), and grandson Thomas Bateman Jnr (1821-1861), who also lived at Middleton Hall. Thomas Snr was an influential and learned figure, who became High Sheriff of Derbyshire in 1823, and who provided a fine and well stocked library at Middleton Hall. William developed an interest in history and archaeology, and began digging barrows (burial mounds) around the Middleton Hall estate, being elected Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. William, however, died prematurely, leaving Thomas Jnr in the care of Thomas Snr.

Thomas Bateman Jnr inherited his father’s interest in barrow-digging and was elected local secretary of the British Archaeological Association in 1844. His genuine fascination with ancient sites and detailed record-making meant that he was one of Britain’s first true archaeologists. He was an early advocate of classification systems of the Stone, Bronze and Iron ages. The pioneering discoveries he made earned him a high reputation in academic circles. Thomas Bateman built up a remarkable collection of important archaeological finds, which is now in part in the permanent collection of Museums Sheffield.

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Product code: JC-487

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