About Nicolaes (or Claes) Hals
Haarlem 1628 – 1686 Haarlem
Son of Frans Hals and his second wife Lysbeth Reyniersdr.
Painter of landscapes and of genre scenes.
In his landscapes he was clearly influenced by Jacob van Ruisdael
(1599 – 1677).
His interior scenes are influenced by Jan Miense Molenaer and by Judith Leyster, both students of his father, Frans Hals.
Five of the eight sons of Frans Hals (1582/83 – 1666) became painters, after having studied under their father :
- Harmen (1611 – 1669) genre and portrait painter
- Frans II (1618 – 1669) genre and portrait painter
- Jan (circa 1620 – 1674) portrait painter
- Reynier (1627 - 1672) genre painter
- Nicolaes (1628 – 1686) landscape and genre painter
In 1655 Nicolaes married a rich widow, Jenneke Hendricksdr. van der Horst; they did not have any children.
About 17th century Dutch winter landscapes
North-Western Europe went through a small ice age from circa 1550 until the middle of the 19th century.
Two thirds of the winters in Holland between 1600 and 1700 were very cold with long periods of frost and snow. Especially the winters of 1662-63 and of 1671-72 were very cold; January 1684 must have been the coldest month of that century.
Why should you buy this painting?
Because it sums up why 17th century Dutch winter scenes are so sought after: a huge sky, a vast frozen surface, a mixed population of simple peasants and rich towns folks and decorative sportive elements such as ice skaters, sledges, and kolf players.