Esaias van de Velde I
Frozen Canal before a Farm in Winter
Esaias van de Velde I, Dutch, Frozen Canal before a Farm in Winter, ca. 1628, Charcoal, brush and wash onpaper; 19.2 x 29.4 cm (7 5/8 x 11 5/8 inches), Anonymous gift 61.075
Like many Dutch artists of the seventeenth century, Esaias van de Velde specialized in naturalistic landscapes without mythological or religious associations, such as this delicate chalk drawing of a Frozen Canal before a Farm in Winter. Choosing a low viewpoint, van de Velde captured the inclement northern weather and bitter cold of the season as he depicted ice skating, a favorite winter pastime, in front of an orderly but aged farm. Scenes of everyday life appealed to van de Velde’s middle-class patrons in the Dutch Republic, who increasingly sought finished drawings as well as paintings for their personal collections.