Phillips, London, 24.09.1979, Lot 110;
MacConnal-Mason Art Gallery, London;
Private Collection, United Kingdom
M. Van Heteren and J. Demere, Frederik Marinus Kruseman 1816 – 1882: Painter of Pleasing Landscapes, Schiedam, 1998, P. 193, no.179 (illustrated).
Kruseman came from a family of artists and distinguishes himself from his family with his romantic and uplifting winter landscapes, with this painting as a perfect example. This carefully constructed Romanticized landscape is a classic example of Kruseman’s work, with the trees and snow around the frozen river being depicted by the artist in such a way that the viewer could imagine stepping into the scene themselves. Likewise, the attention to detail in depicting natural light effects has been carefully observed, with the scene seeming to be illuminated from within.
The interplay of the figures on the path and the skating figures on the water along with the vast trees and expansive forest in the lower foreground suggest that nature reigns above man. This idea of a dominant nature was a common belief at the time Kruseman was painting and was one of the key ideas behind the Romantic Movement throughout Europe.
Frederik Marinus Kruseman was a renowned landscape painter from the Dutch Romantic School. He was a pupil of Nicolaas Roosenboom (1805-1880) and of Barend Cornelis Koekkoek (1803-1862). Althought Koekkoek’s influence is apparent in Kruseman’s oeuvre, the artist created a very personal style. The majority of Kruseman’s paintings are winter landscapes with skaters, a very popular genre at that time. Typical for Kruseman’s works are his trees with meandering branches and the warm red evening skies above his landscapes.
The artist’s works can now be found in several museums across the globe including the Bibliothèque Royale Albert I in Brussels, the Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem, and the Museum der Bildenden Kunste in Leipzig.