Sunday, 6 December 2015

Winter memories

Skating on a Frozen River. Oil. By Aert van der Neer, c1660.
Most of us in Brighton can only remember a handful of severe winters; winters when the temperature dropped several degrees below freezing and stayed there long enough to allow skating on Falmer pond. Nowadays very cold winters seem increasingly rare. Those wanting to experience such winters in their imagination can do little better than turn to the paintings of Dutch Golden Age painter Aeert van der Neer.

Aeert specialised in winter scenes and, painting in Holland in the last Little Ice-Age, had plenty of opportunity to hone his skills. There are about 65 of his paintings, including moonlit scenes (his other love), scattered around UK galleries, and Brighton Art Gallery has one of these. It can be seen on the staircase close to  "A Winter Landscape".

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