The Rijksmuseum Amsterdam presents Hendrick Avercamp: The Little Ice Age, the first exhibition devoted to Hendrick Avercamp, the foremost painter of Dutch winter landscapes in the 17th century. Avercamp was the first Dutch artist to specialize in paintings of winter landscapes featuring people enjoying the ice. Some 400 years on, our image of life in the harsh winters of the Golden Age is still dominated by Avercamp’s ice scenes with their splendid narrative details of couples skating, children pelting each other with snowballs and unwary individuals falling through the ice.

Along with 20 of his finest paintings, the exhibition features 25 of his best drawings from museums and private collections throughout the world.

Hendrick Avercamp: The Little Ice Age runs from November 20 to February 15, 2010 at the Rijksmuseum. It will then appear at the National Gallery of Art in Washington from March 21 to July 5, 2010.

Known as The Mute, because of his inability to speak, 17th-century sources suggest that Avercamp was probably deaf. In conjunction with the exhibit, the Rijksmuseum will launch a program for deaf and hearing-impaired visitors. The museum has worked closely with the Dutch signing center (Nederlands Gebarencentrum) to develop special signs for museums and for art. A signed tour is available accompanying the exhibition and an educational program is being developed for people with impaired hearing, including an interactive signed tour. After the exhibition finishes the Rijksmuseum will continue providing a varied program for deaf and hearing-impaired visitors. This program is made possible with support from the Rijksmuseum Fonds and Kattendijke/Drucker Stichting. For more information, visit