Netherlands • 1585−1634

He studied in Amsterdam, worked in Kampen. Was deaf and dumb from birth.

One of the founders of the national Dutch school of painting.

Averkamp created a new type of genre-landscape painting, wrote mostly small winter landscapes in a bright silver scale with colorful figures of skaters. Subtly conveyed the depth of space, the atmospheric haze created by the humid frosty air (Skating, Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow; Entertainment on Ice, Mauritshuis, The Hague).

Avercamp Hendrick, nicknamed “The Mute from Kampen”, “De Stomme van Campen” (1585–1634), is a Dutch Baroque painter. Hendrik Averkamp was born in Amsterdam, was baptized on January 27, 1585. In 1586, the Averkamp family moved to Kampen, where his father opened a pharmacy. On the maternal side, Averkamp was the grandson of the scientist Peter Meroutanus. Probably, on the basis of the inherent deafness of nature, Averkamp was never able to learn to speak correctly. He received writing and drawing lessons from his mother, and could further express his feelings in drawings.

From the age of twelve, Hendrik Averkamp was apprenticed to a poor art teacher, the apprenticeship did not last long, as the master was the victim of a plague epidemic. Around the age of eighteen, Averkamp moved to Amsterdam, where he began to study painting with the Danish artist Peter Isaksts. Also in the early works of Averkamp, the influence of the Flemish school is noticeable, in particular, landscape painter Giliss van Konincloo.

In 1614, Averkamp returned to his small provincial town Kampen, where he remained to live and work until his death in 1634. During the last years of his life, Averkamp taught painting to his nephew Barent Averkamp, who later also became a painter in mainly winter urban and rural landscapes.

The formation of the realistic tendency in Dutch art of the 17th century was first of all manifested in landscape painting. One of the first to the image of the native nature turned artist Averkamp. Among the favorite motifs Avercamp - the image of winter landscapes. The artist has achieved excellence in the transfer of a bluish-silver surface of frozen channels, a humid and frosty air atmosphere (“Skating”, State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow; “Entertainment on Ice”, Mauritshuis, The Hague). The early landscapes of the painter Hendrik Averkamp are rather curious with the peculiar and interesting properties of funny characters moving from one picture to another, apparently the friends of a Flemish artist.

From 1614 to 1634, Hendrik Averkamp created many winter landscapes and genre scenes. The paintings, written by the artist Averkamp, are very entertaining, colorful and lively, and were very popular among burghers and ordinary citizens. Therefore, Averkamp could successfully sell many of his paintings, watercolors and drawings. Typical paintings by the artist Averkamp have a high and distant horizon and show a lot of diligent and amusing people, and, as a rule, the painter in his paintings skillfully hid several funny stories and anecdotes. A characteristic feature of Averkamp is the introduction of genre motifs into landscapes. He populates his species with a multitude of figures that not only enliven them, but contribute a certain plot to the beginning. In the painting Ice Skating, Averkamp introduces the viewer to one of the most remarkable aspects of the Dutch way of life: frozen winter canals become a place of favorite winter fun for the citizens. Here they skate, carry children on sledges, chase a ball with a club, carry cargo. Children and adults, well-dressed ladies and gentlemen, townspeople in modest clothes - all of them can be seen on the ice of the Dutch channel.

Leaving the foreground of the painting free, Averkamp captures the concrete signs of the terrain - the walls and towers of the fortress, the characteristic bend of the bay, the masts of the ships. Like all subsequent Dutch artists, Averkamp liked to paint the sky, almost always overcast, cloudy, usually taking up almost half of the entire canvas. A modest, dim in nature, the peculiar life of people - this is how Holland appears in the paintings of Averkamp. He wrote them in small, chamber sizes for the cozy interiors of the townspeople. Probably Averkamp drew pictures in his workshop with the help of sketches and sketches, which he performed in the winter in nature. The artist's passion for winter scenes is probably due to his childhood and youth hobbies, when he and his parents often skated. The last quarter of the 16th century, during which Averkamp was born and spent his childhood, is considered one of the coldest climatic periods in the history of the Netherlands, the so-called small ice age. Currently, many paintings by Hendrick Averkamp are kept in private collections. A significant collection of paintings by the artist located in Windsor Castle in England.

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