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The Port of Amsterdam in Winter
Dubbels, Hendrick Jacobsz
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Dubbels, Hendrick Jacobsz

Amsterdam, 1621 - Amsterdam, 1707

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The Port of Amsterdam in Winter

1656 - 1660. Oil on canvas.
Room 076

This is one of the few winter scenes painted by Hendrick Dubbels still preserved today. In the Museum`s catalogues it is described as a scene with skaters, although only three of the many characters depicted here are actually skating, and one is putting on skates. The 1873 and 1878 editions state that, despite the signature, some consider this to be by Bonaventura Peeters; the 1885 publication mentions Bredius`s attribution to Cornelis Vroom; and from 1889 to 1907, the institution`s catalogues include it as an original by Hendrick`s son, Jan Dubbels (active 1705–1727), owing to the signature.

Valdivieso (1973) places The Port of Amsterdam in Winter in the painter`s early period, around 1640–50. However, Middendorf (1989), who locates the setting as the Eastern Dock of the Port of Amsterdam, considers it to be from 1656–60. Indeed, the bright colours appear to correspond to the painter`s second stage when, after working at Simon de Vlieger`s studio, he gave up the monochromatic range characteristic of his initial works. Moreover, the work`s compositional structure -based on a balance of horizontal and vertical planes- is classical. This and the very low level at which the line of the horizon is placed, so that the sky occupies three quarters of the composition, make it similar to the emblematic views of the Port of Amsterdam -in this case the Eastern Dock- which Hendrick Dubbels cultivated between 1654 and 1660.

The brushwork is delicate and uniform and, as is typical of these views painted by the artist, the colouring is cold, based on blues and greys, with hints of pink in the horizon. The crowd of little figures is engaged in various leisure activities and grouped together into little genre scenes, bringing the scene to life in the tradition of Hendrick Avercamp (1585-1634). Afurther two examples of this scene are known to exist: one in the Steinmeyer collection (Cologne), which Hofstede de Groot catalogues as an original by Jan de la Capelle (1626-1679) but which Valdivieso believes to be a copy of inferior quality of the Prado version; and another, known as People on the Harbour, auctioned in Barcelona as the work of Abraham Storck (ca. 1635-1710), which Valdivieso also considers a replica of the Prado original (Posada Kubissa, T.: Pintura holandesa en el Museo Nacional del Prado. Catálogo razonado, 2009, p. 302).


Technical data

Inventory number
Dubbels, Hendrick Jacobsz
The Port of Amsterdam in Winter
1656 - 1660
Height: 67 cm; Width: 91 cm
Royal Collection (Palacio Real, Madrid, cuarto del capitán de guardias, 1814-1818, nº 266).

Bibliography +

Willis, Fred, Die niederländische Marinemalerei., Klinkhardt & Biermann, Leipzig, 1911, pp. 76.

Salas, Xavier de, Museo del Prado. Catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1972.

Valdivieso, Enrique, Pintura Holandesa del siglo XVII en españa, Universidad, Valladolid, 1973, pp. 137, 185-186, 189 y 251.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1985, pp. 188.

Middendorf, Ulrique, Hendrik Jacobsz Dubbels (1621-1707), Luca Verlag, Freren, 1989, pp. 25, 29 y 41.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: inventario general de pinturas (I) La Colección Real, Museo del Prado, Espasa Calpe, Madrid, 1990, pp. nº1908.

Homo Ludens : Le Jeu Dans les Collections du Museo del Prado..., Musee Olympique, Lausana, 2000, pp. 126.

Posada Kubissa, Teresa, Pintura holandesa en el Museo Nacional del Prado. Catálogo razonado, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2009, pp. 60-61.

Posada Kubissa, Teresa, El paisaje nórdico en el Prado. Rubens, Brueghel, Lorena, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2011, pp. 103,106-107,161-162, n. 36.

Posada Kubissa, Teresa, Rubens, Brueghel, Lorrain. A Paisagem Nórdica do Museu do Prado, Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga - INCM - Museo Nacional del Prado, Lisboa, 2013, pp. 105,158 n.36.

Other inventories +

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1889. Núm. 1313a.
1313a.K.-Marina.-Ria helada, con embarcaciones y pa- / tinadores.-Firmado. / Alto, 0,67; ancho, 0,91.-L

Inv. Real Museo, 1857. Núm. 1908.
Dobbvis / 1908. Un astillero. / Alto 2 pies, 5 pulg; ancho 3 pies, 3 pulg.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1873-1907. Núm. 1960.
1960.-(-T.)-Marina. Ria helada, con embarcacio- / nes y patinadores.-Estilo del holandés Dubbels, cuya / firma parece leerse en el cuadro. / alto 0,67, ancho 0,91.

Inv. Fernando VII, Palacio Nuevo, 1814-1818. Núm. 266.
Cuarto del Capitán de Guardias [...] {22203} 266 / Una marina helada con varios barcos y hombres que andan dobre el hielo = Dubrois

Inscriptions +

DVBBELS [en el puentecillo de madera]
Signed. Front, left side

Inscribed in white. Front, lower right corner

Inscribed in orange. Front, lower left corner

M N Prado M 00892
Scrap of paper. Frame, back, lower bar

M.N.Prado 02080
Scrap of paper. Stretcher, right side bar

Inscribed with chalk. Back, left side

SIT Transportes: exposición Homo Ludens
Scrap of paper. Stretcher, upper bar, on the right

Exhibitions +

Rubens, Brueghel, Lorena. El paisaje nórdico en el Prado
03.12.2013 - 30.03.2014

Rubens, Brueghel, Lorena. El paisaje nórdico en el Prado
Palma de Mallorca
20.06.2013 - 29.09.2013

Rubens, Brueghel, Lorena. El paisaje nórdico en el Prado
14.03.2013 - 02.06.2013

Rubens, Brueghel, Lorena. El paisaje nórdico en el Prado
20.12.2012 - 24.02.2013

Rubens, Brueghel, Lorena. El paisaje nórdico en el Prado
25.09.2012 - 25.11.2012

Rubens, Brueghel, Lorena. El paisaje nórdico en el Prado
Santiago de Compostela
01.12.2011 - 18.03.2012

Dutch Painters at the Prado
03.12.2009 - 11.04.2010

Homo Ludens. El juego en las colecciones del Museo del Prado
30.05.2002 - 29.09.2002

Homo Ludens: le jeu dans les collections du Museo del Prado
29.05.2002 - 22.09.2002

Location +

Room 076 (On Display)


Displayed objects +

Transport, Maritime / Transport, River

Update date: 09-04-2022 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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