Winter: Skating Scene

Four Seasons

Winter: Skating Scene

designed c. 1535, woven late 1600s–early 1700s

Part of a set. See all set records


probably by Gobelins Manufactory

(France, Paris, est. 1662)

Wool, silk, and gold filé: tapestry weave

Overall: 244 x 388 cm (96 1/16 x 152 3/4 in.)

Gift of Francis Ginn, Marian Ginn Jones, Barbara Ginn Griesinger, and Alexander Ginn in memory of Frank Hadley Ginn and Cornelia Root Ginn 1952.544.4


Did you know?

If you look closely you can see that the top edge of this scene has been cut off; look at the top of the castle on the right or the forest fire on the left.


People of all classes and ages enjoyed ice skating, a winter pastime popularized in the Netherlands. Here, some couples are already skating and slipping on the ice, while others tie on their skates or huddle around braziers (portable coal heaters) to keep warm. One affectionate couple in the foreground hold hands as they walk. A castle on the far edge of the frozen lake occupies the background. In the left distance, several small figures holding ladders and long hooks run toward a building that has caught on fire, a frequent occurrence in the winter when wooden houses were heated by fireplaces.

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