On a large icy river that occupies the left side of the landscape, several people cross sliding on skates, right around the windmill agricultural activity continues despite the cold. In the foreground peasants break the ice on the banks of the frozen river, while a worker carries a bag full of grain to the entrance of the mill. Further on, we see a group of three people including a rider. At the top of the mill two millers work on the roof, whose edges are covered with stalactites. The changing colors of the sky with rosy reflections announce the end of the day and the setting sun. It is perhaps for this reason that there is so much agitation around the mill. The days are short and people have to finish their daily tasks before dark. The almost monochrome palette of our work, consisting of whites, grays and browns, is punctuated by touches of brighter colors dotted throughout the landscape accentuating some details mainly the clothes of the characters. The precise brush of our artist paying attention to many details enriched the composition with strong contrasts and elaborate graphics. The details of the vegetation, the trees with bare branches, the shrubs with frosted foliage, the hills on the horizon are painted in camaieu of gray and accentuate this icy and frozen atmosphere. To counterbalance this effect of "stopped time" the painter integrates into the composition many characters thus animating this silent landscape and thus giving it life. The soft light illuminates this winter scene that the artist immortalizes forever as his own testimony of the Little Ice Age.
Oil on panel, dimensions: h. 19 cm, l. 27 cm
Dutch school of the 17th century, circle of Klaes Molenaer (Haarlem, 1630- 1676).
With later ebonized and moulded frame.
Dimensions with frame: h. 43 cm, l. 51 cm
The theme of winter is one of the most present in Dutch painting of the seventeenth century. The snowy landscapes have their origin in the period called Liitle Ice Age extending from the end of the 16th century to the 17th century. Dutch artists immortalized his moments to convey to us their faithful testimonies of the cold climate and the particularly harsh winters of that time. It is interesting to note that painters voluntarily testify in their landscapes and in their winter scenes of the prosperity and joie de vivre of a young nation, which is why these landscapes are always animated by many people, who despite the cold continue to lead their lives.