Hendrick Avercamp captures the joy of winter, Turner shows us the beauty and bitterness of the countryside in the cold and icy violence is painted out – all in your weekly dispatch
Winter Landscape, about 1630, by Hendrick Avercamp
Winter was fun in the 1630s to judge from this painting by a Dutch artist who specialised in snowy scenes. They had no central heating or modern thermal clothes, bubonic plague remained rife and famine was a threat – but the people in this picture couldn’t care less. They’re too busy enjoying the ice, whose vast expanse is crowded with fun-seekers. There’s even a game of ice-golf. Avercamp sets it all in a mysterious pale world of frozen whites and misty yellows. His art of winter reflects the period known as the Little Ice Age when temperatures plummeted in Europe and scenes like this also occurred on the River Thames.
• Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh.