This picture depicts a timber-framed water mill with figures trying to make a hole in the ice to fish. The vernacular architecture is of the eastern Netherlands, and the mill is very like those that he painted, with help from drawings made on the spot, following his journey to Gelderland and Over-Ijssel in the early 1650s.
F. Fleischmann (see Provenance) owned several fine paintings by Jacob van Ruisdael, including The Great Oak, one of Ruisdael’s most celebrated paintings, given by Mr. & Mrs. Edward Carter to the L.A. County Museum in 1985. It is not known what happened to the present picture, but most of the Fleischmann collection passed by descent to F.N. & O.S. Ashcroft in the early 1950s, when they were dispersed via the London trade.
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