Thursday, February 09, 2012

Ice in Amsterdam

My brother Michael and his family live in Amsterdam. It's cold there at the moment - certainly colder than it is here. In an email to me today he wrote:

For days it has been well below freezing day and night, with sunshine and clear blue skies. This weather people describe as 'lovely'.

Why lovely? Because they have a passion for ice skating - even though it's not always cold enough.

Of course Amsterdam is known for its canals. So when it is cold for long periods, then this happens:

I love Michael's photo, with all the little figures on the ice - it's like a kind of Dutch L.S. Lowry or - closer geographically to Amsterdam - Breughel. The painter Pieter Breughel was born in Holland - - or perhaps Belgium - it's not certain.

This is Winter Landscape with Skaters and Bird Trap and at first glance it doesn't look too different from a village in the snow with a frozen river today. No television aerials, mind, because it was painted in 1565.

So there we have it. Times change: people don't change much, in essence. I bet Breughel would have liked a digital camera so he didn't have to freeze his ass off painting his winter landscape. Thank you for the lovely photo, Michael.



Anonymous Michael Communistson said...

You're right, it really is like those 16th century paintings when the hidden skating culture emerges.

YouTube is full of videos like this:
or this:

Absolutely everybody does it, young and old. Only foreigners like me can't skate. And of course, the hospitals are packed!

8:23 pm  
Blogger Silverback said...

And a warm thank you to Michael for freezing HIS ass off taking the digital photo....and videos.

8:53 pm  
Blogger Katherine said...

Breughel even captured the golden yellow sky... Lovely!

1:07 am  
Blogger JeannetteLS said...

That's remarkable how much alike the scenes ARE.

1:45 am  
Blogger Yorkshire Pudding said...

I think you're right - essentially people haven't changed much through the ages. That was something I felt strongly when I looked closely at "The Garden of Earthly Delights" by Hieronymus Bosch - painted around 1500 - over five hundred years ago.

12:41 pm  
Blogger rhymeswithplague said...

I don't understand how Yorkshire Pudding could have looked at Hieronymus Bosch's painting over 500 years ago.

10:38 pm  
Blogger Yorkshire Pudding said...

RHYMES WITH PEE I'm a Time Lord!

12:26 am  

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