Fun on the ice at the Rijksmuseum

December 1 2017 to April 17 2018
Print Room 17th Century

Wintertime scenes by Avercamp, Ter Borch, Van de Velde and other 17th-century masters.

avercamp Ice scene with hunter displaying an otter to two fishermen, Hendrick Avercamp, 1595 - 1634This small exhibition of prints and drawings offers a colourful window onto a time that people of all ages and walks of life took to the ice in wintertime, making the most of the frozen canals and rivers to get around by skates, sleigh or simply on foot. Featuring 17 prints and drawings, this presentation is on view in the Rijksmuseum’s 17th-century Print Room from 1 December 2017 through 31 March 2018.

The Little Ice Age

uilen Skating owls, Adriaen Matham (attributed to), after Adriaen Pietersz. van de Venne, 1620 - 1660The Dutch love of ice-skating goes back centuries. Countless prints and drawings testify to the popularity of this winter pastime four hundred years ago.
During the first decades of the 17th century the Netherlands was uncommonly cold. In this period, now known as the ‘Little Ice Age ‘, average temperatures were lower than they are today, with unusually harsh winters, often multiple years in a row. Everything froze solid, not only rivers, but also the Zuiderzee and Wadden region, to the extent that even horse-drawn carts could make the journey from Amsterdam to Friesland over the ice.

Coolest Rink in the Netherlands

These ice-skating prints are being exhibited in collaboration with De Coolste Baan van Nederland (‘The Coolest Rink in the Netherlands’) an ice-skating rink where sports and recreation come together for all ages this winter. The Rijksmuseum is the Official Cultural Partner of De Coolste Baan van Nederland, which is being organized from 18 January through 28 February 2018 at Amsterdam’s Olympic Stadium. KPN is the Main Sponsor of the Rijksmuseum and of De Coolste Baan van Nederland.