Enjoying the ice. Dutch Winter landscapes, weather and climate in the Golden Age, 17th century
- Institute of Geography and Durability, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland
Abstract. This article explores Dutch winter landscapes from the 17th century, in light of written climatic sources. It investigates different kinds of climatic elements and winter weather types that were favoured by the artists during the Little Ice Age. The comparison between a corpus of paintings and narrative records show an overrepresentation of cold and dry weather in painted representations, in comparison to the written documents. Indeed, we can estimate that such particularly cold and dry weather corresponded to less than 20 % of winter days. Thus, the Dutch painters produced a winter imagery supported by icy scenes, in which the Dutch practiced skating. We interpret this choice by examining hypotheses based around four themes: climatic, religious, political, and social. Finally, despite their historical relevance, these winter landscapes are a genre, and only show very partially the diversity of winter weather during the 17th century and the Little Ice Age.
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