User Menu

MFA for Educators

Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.

Skating on a Frozen River

Start collecting


Falsely signed, lower right: HA (monogram)


1922, Francis Wellesley, Westfield Common, near Woking, Surrey, England; May 26, 1922, Wellesley sale, Christie's, London, lot 127, sold for £94.10 to "Van Stochem" (probably Nicolas van Slochem, London) [see note 1]. Arnold Simon van den Bergh (b. 1857 - d. 1932), The Hague; to his son-in-law, Dr. Eugen Marx (b. 1879 - d. 1940), Rotterdam [see note 2]. By 1949, Dr. Leonardus Daniël van Hengel (b. 1876 – d. 1952), Ellecom, near Arnhem, The Netherlands; May 21-23, 1953, posthumous van Hengel sale, Ellecom, lot 338. December 11, 1956, anonymous estate sale, Frederik Muller, Amsterdam, lot 2A, sold for 22,000 florins. Hendrik Peter Doodeheefver (b. 1889), Hilversum, The Netherlands [see note 3]; June 24, 1959, anonymous (probably Doodeheefver) sale, Sotheby's, London, lot 76, sold for £4,200 to W. E. Duits, Ltd., London (stock no. 855); 1960, sold by Duits to Mr. and Mrs. Edward A. Taft, Boston; 1960, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Taft to the MFA. (Accession Date: September 21, 1960) NOTES: [1] Sold with a companion panel, as by H[endrick] van Avercamp, whose monogram the painting falsely bears. The two panels are documented together, as pendants, through the 1956 auction. [2] This provenance (A. S. Van den Bergh and E. Marx collections) is given for the companion panel in Clara J. Welcker, Hendrick Avercamp 1585 - 1634 Beijgenaamd 'De Stomme van Campen' en Barent Avercamp 1612 - 1679, 'Schilders tot Campen', revised ed. with catalogue raisonné by D. J. Hensbroek-van der Poel (Davaco, 1979), p. 330, cat. no. B.A. S 5.6, and is taken from documentation on file at the Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie, The Hague. The provenance of the MFA painting has been confirmed by the familial descendants of Arnold Simon van den Bergh, in whose home it was photographed in the 1930s. [3] According to Duits Records, Index Cards (Getty Research Institute, No. 860290, Box 37). Correspondence from Charles Duits to Angelica Rudenstine of the MFA (February 4, 1963), states that it came from the "collection Doodenhever [sic] in Holland who exhibited it at a small gallery under the name of Barent Avercamp, where we discovered it." Although the painting was consigned anonymously to the 1959 Sotheby's sale, where Duits acquired it, Doodeheefver is known to have consigned other works of art anonymously to the same auction. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Eugen Marx, the son-in-law of Arnold Simon van den Bergh, was a prominent Jewish ophthalmologist in Rotterdam. With the German invasion of the Netherlands, he and his wife committed suicide on May 15, 1940. The MFA is currently working with his relatives to determine the provenance of the Avercamp painting.

Credit Line

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Edward A. Taft

about 1650


33.7 x 45.1 cm (13 1/4 x 17 3/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Oil on panel