LUCAS VAN VALCKENBORCH
View of Antwerp with Frozen Schelde
Oil on oakwood
Inv. No. 668
43 × 64 cm
It is the trade metropolis of Antwerp that is seen beyond the frozen Scheldt River from the vantage point of its bank. A painter who spent the late years of his career in Frankfurt, here van Valckenborch has masterfully captured the mood of a winter day: Dark clouds alternate with patches of blue; the sun, low in the sky, casts long shadows on the snow and ice. The genre-like goings-on in the foreground contrast boldly with the distant view of the city and its mighty fortifications. Peasants have started a fire on the dike, while wood-collecting day labourers join elegant urban residents who have ventured out of town on foot or in sleighs to enjoy the lively activities.