Hans Bol - WINTER LANDSCAPE - image-1

Lot 1211 Dα


Auction 1020 - overview Cologne
16.11.2013, 00:00 - Ols Masters incl. The Rau Collection for UNICEF
Estimate: 30.000 € - 40.000 €
Result: 58.560 € (incl. premium)

Hans Bol


Gouache on paper on copper. Diameter 6.4 cm.

To the reverse of the thin wooden board backing the copper plate is a sheet of paper with the arms of the earl of Perrée de la Villestreux with the motto "MARE NASCITUR FORTITUDO / EX MUSEO DE LA VILLESTREUX".

In a round composition, barely larger than the palm of a hand, Hans Bol has created a lively miniature landscape capturing the atmosphere of a cold winter's day in fine brushstrokes. A group of figures facing away from the viewer stand and look down on a frozen canal on which skaters frolick alone or in groups, one is even shown slipping over. A blanket of snow covers the landscape, in which a cityscape can be seen in the distance, dominated by the outline of a Gothic church. Hans Bol skillfully employs few techniques to express the vastness of the landscape: The back-views of the figures in the foreground, which form a contrast to the city in the distance painted in blue in aerial perspective. The colours blue and white generally dominate the piece, and express the cold of the winter's day. The only divergence from this palette is formed by the figures in the foreground, which further enhances the spacial effect. This is a landscape to be viewed up close and admired. Hans Bol demonstrates his ability to display on a small scale all the qualities which characterise large-scale landscapes: The depiction of atmosphere, near and far, weather and the seasons.
Hans Bol belongs to the generation of Flemish landscape painters of the second half of the 16th century who, as successors of Pieter Brueghel, brought this genre to high renown in the southern Netherlands. He was born in Mechelen, a town housing a great many watercolour workshops, and it was in one of these workshops in which he probably learnt his trade under his uncle. Following a stay in Germany, he first returned to Mechelen and later moved to Antwerp. Here he specialised in small scale landscapes, of which this winter scene is a perfect example. The depiction of the seasons was part of the fixed repertoire of landscape painting at the time, and there was possibly a pendant to this painting which may have shown a summer scene (for example Sotheby's, London, 3.7.2013, lot 23).


The Rau Collection for UNICEF