National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of A Scene on the Ice Hendrick Avercamp (artist)
Dutch, 1585 - 1634
A Scene on the Ice, c. 1625
oil on panel
overall: 39.2 x 77 cm (15 7/16 x 30 5/16 in.) framed: 64.8 x 102.2 x 5.7 cm (25 1/2 x 40 1/4 x 2 1/4 in.)
Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fund
On View
From the Tour: Dutch Landscapes and Seascapes of the 1600s
Object 1 of 8

Conservation Notes

The support, a single oak panel with a horizontal grain, has been thinned and a cradle attached. Dendrochronology shows the panel to be from a tree felled between 1606 and 1616.[1] Triangular wood inserts replace the bottom right and left corners. The wood grain is quite prominent, due to increased transparency of the aged oil paint and moderate abrasion overall. A thin, smooth, white ground layer is followed by a coarse, granular, gray imprimatura. The horizontal, striated strokes of the imprimatura application, visible through the thin sky, are incorporated into the design of the foreground figures.

Paint is applied in thin, smooth transparent layers with more opaque paint used in the details and white highlights. Very fine contours were applied around the figures with liquid black paint. While discrete losses are few, the paint surface has been heavily abraded, most notably in the sky near the right and along all four edges. Some figures in the middle ground were almost totally reconstructed when the painting was restored in the early twentieth century. The horse and most foreground figures have also been reinforced, sometimes quite inaccurately. No conservation treatment has been carried out at the National Gallery.

[1] Dendrochronology by Dr. Peter Klein, Universität Hamburg, 12 February 1987 (letter in NGA curatorial files).

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