Maida and George Abrams Collection, Boston © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Gallery Text

In Avercamp’s drawings, the Dutch landscape serves as backdrop for scenes bustling with human activity. From the barefoot peasant fishing in the shallow waters to the woman washing clothes on the riverbank, this watercolor presents a catalogue of seasonal activities taking place along Holland’s busy waterways. Although the artist carefully crafted this world inside his studio, his eye for such seemingly anecdotal details as the baby sitting in an empty washtub (on the left side of the composition) gives the impression that this is a snapshot of daily life in the Dutch Republic. Acclaimed for his talent as a colorist, Avercamp saturated the image with subtle reds, greens, and blues. His depiction of water, which effectively exploits the white paper reserve with only a few added touches of watercolor, is particularly striking.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
Hendrick Barentsz. Avercamp, Dutch (Amsterdam, Netherlands 1585 - 1634 Kampen, Netherlands)
Landscape (near Ouderkerk?) with a Fisherman
Other Titles
Alternate Title: River Landscape by Ouderkerk
Work Type
17th century
Level 2, Room 2300, European Art, 17th–19th century, Seventeenth–Century Dutch and Flemish Art
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Physical Descriptions
Brown ink and watercolor over graphite on beige antique laid paper
19.3 x 29.2 cm (7 5/8 x 11 1/2 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: Brown ink, bottom center: HA (in ligature)
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Maida and George Abrams Collection, Boston, Massachusetts
Object Number
European and American Art
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Publication History

William W. Robinson, Bruegel to Rembrandt: Dutch and Flemish Drawings from the Maida and George Abrams Collection, exh. cat., Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2002), cat. no. 8, repr.

Exhibition History

Bruegel to Rembrandt: Dutch and Flemish Drawings from the Maida and George Abrams Collection, British Museum, London, 06/13/2002 - 09/22/2002; Institut Néerlandais, Paris, 10/10/2002 - 12/08/2002; Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 03/22/2003 - 07/06/2003

32Q: 2300 Dutch & Flemish, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 09/08/2017 - 01/17/2018

The Art of Drawing in the Early Dutch Golden Age, 1590–1630: Selected Works from the Abrams Collection, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 09/09/2017 - 01/14/2018

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