Lot 28
  • 28

Barent Avercamp

100,000 - 150,000 USD
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  • Barent Avercamp
  • Winter landscape with skaters and "colfers" on a frozen inlet
  • oil on beveled panel, with added strip across the top


The following condition report has been provided by Simon Parkes of Simon Parkes Art Conservation, Inc. 502 East 74th St. New York, NY 212-734-3920, simonparkes@msn.com, an independent restorer who is not an employee of Sotheby's. This work has not been cleaned for many years. The panel is flat and the paint layer is stable. On the reverse, one can see a join running horizontally in the panel that adds 3 ½ inches to the top of the picture. This second piece of wood is certainly old but may not be period. The additional section across the top edge has a very slightly different texture, and there are fairly broad retouches across the join here in the upper sky. The figures in the lower part of the sky will respond beautifully when the picture is cleaned.
"This lot is offered for sale subject to Sotheby's Conditions of Business, which are available on request and printed in Sotheby's sale catalogues. The independent reports contained in this document are provided for prospective bidders' information only and without warranty by Sotheby's or the Seller."

Catalogue Note

Barent Avercamp’s style and subject matter was based closely on that of his uncle, Hendrick Avercamp, with whom he probably studied.  Both specialized in winter scenes, favoring depictions of frozen inlets that were filled with anecdotal details, such as people frolicking on the ice.  Here he depicts various figures skating, sledding and playing colf, a game played with clubs and balls made of either wood or sheepskin filled with cow hair.  The object of the game was to hit the ball the greatest distance in a set number of strokes, or to hit a target such as pole in the fewest number.1

A similar composition by Barent Avercamp, also depicting colfers set against an almost identical grouping of houses at the right, is in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.2


1.  See A. van Suchtelen, in Holland Frozen in Time, The Dutch Winter Landscape in the Golden Age, exhibition catalogue, The Hague 2001, p. 26.
2.  Inv. no. A3286, oil on panel, 40 by 53.5 cm.