The J. Paul Getty Museum

A Winter Scene

Object Details


A Winter Scene


Hendrik Meyer (Dutch, 1744 - 1793)






Black chalk, pen and brown ink, gouache, pen and black ink framing lines

Object Number:



37.1 × 48.3 cm (14 5/8 × 19 in.)

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Object Description

Hendrik Meyer illustrated the subject of this watercolor--an idealized version of winter in a Dutch village--in great detail. A barren tree rendered in crisp lines and white highlights, dominates the foreground. The sky is filled with gray clouds, smoke pours from a cottage chimney, and a nearby stream is frozen over. A partially submerged rowboat is covered with snow and ice. Despite the frigid weather, people are outside, keeping warm with activities such as chopping and gathering wood, sledding, and ice-skating. Other elements in the scene also suggest movement: a windmill, chimney smoke, and birds circling or flying in formation. The landscape is filled with delicate textures: grass peeking through snow, a thatched roof, and skaters' trails on ice.

Meyer's figured landscapes were produced as finished works for sale. They revived a seventeenth-century tradition of such scenes, hearkening back to Dutch painters such as Pieter Bruegel the Elder, as well as calendar illustrations in medieval books of hours. Artists represented times of the year by showing people engaged in seasonal activities. Winter depictions often featured peasants felling trees, gathering wood, and ice-skating.


Private Collection [Sold, Sotheby's, London, May 6, 1953, lot 13.]


Private Collection [sold, Christie's, New York, January 22, 2004, lot 131, to the J. Paul Getty Museum.]

Paper Art: Finished Drawings in Holland 1590-1800 (September 6 to November 20, 2005)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), September 6 to November 20, 2005
Ten Years of Drawings: What, How, and Why (January 29 to May 4, 2008)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), January 29 to May 4, 2008
Drawing Life: The Dutch Visual Tradition (November 24, 2009 to February 28, 2010)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), November 24, 2009 to February 28, 2010

Sotheby & Co., London. Catalogue of Master Drawings and Paintings [...]. May 6, 1953, p. 4, lot 13.

Christie's, New York. Old Master and 19th Century Drawings. January 22, 2004, p. 139, lot 131, ill.

Education Resources
Education Resources

Education Resource




Language through Art (Beginning)

Lesson in which students study exterior spaces depicted in works of art, describing weather and time of day.

Visual Arts; English–Language Arts; ESL (English as a Second Language)

K-2; 3-5; 6-8; 9-12; Adult Learners

Single Class Lesson