Lawrence Steigrad Fine Arts

A Winter Landscape with Skaters on a Frozen River Outside a Village


KLAES MOLENAER (Haarlem 1626/ 1629 - Haarlem 1676)

signed K. Molenaer in the lower left
oil on panel
7 x 9 inches (18 x 23.5 cm.)

Detail Description

Klaes Molenaer is renowned for his winter scenes. These works reflect the influence of his contemporary and fellow Haarlem artists Jacob van Ruisdael as well as Isaak van Ostade. Outside the old stone walls of a Dutch town a frozen river is filled with skaters. A dusting of snow is evident on the buildings, shrubs and trees. Three figures are gathered around a horse drawn sledge in the lower left foreground, while a man pushes a small sledge down a ramp nearby. The flow on the ice commences in the right center foreground with a villager fastening his skate, while other skaters dot the ice far into the depths of the composition. The sky is a wintry mix of white, grey and purple. The low vantage point of the scene grants the viewer the sense of immediate accessibility, feeling its chill and joy simultaneously.

Klaes Molenaer was the youngest of seven siblings, he is the brother of the artist Bartholomeus and Jan Miense Molenaer. He specialized in landscapes and genre, which included beach, river and ice-skating scenes as well as peasant gatherings in taverns and villages. His early works show the influence of Jan van Goyen, and he is thought to have apprenticed with his brother Jan Miense, whom he lived with in Amsterdam from 1637 – 1648. He was a member of the Guild of St. Luke in Haarlem from 1651 – 1676. Molenaer excelled at depicting and recording contemporary life, with his most notable pupils being Nicolas Piemont and Thomas Heeremans.

Winter scenes by Molenaer were acquired by the museums of Amsterdam; Arnhem; Cambridge, Massachusetts; Groningen; Hoorn; Indianapolis; Montpellier; Moscow; Nottingham; Oldenburg; Otterloo; Sacramento; Schwerin and Worcester, Massachusetts.

read more
A Winter Landscape with Skaters on a Frozen River Outside a Village


27 West 60th street, PO Box 20009
10023 New York
United States

T (212) 517-3643
M 9175091429