The Skaters

Emile Claus  The Skaters

In the period when he painted this canvas – which he first exhibited in Ghent in 1891– Claus was increasingly influenced by the French Impressionism. At the same time, though, this winter landscape illustrates the extent to which Claus continued to paint 'realistically'. For instance, the small figures are outlined sharply. This canvas, which he gave the title of Ijsvogels (properly, 'Kingfishers', literally, 'Ice Birds') is also a beautiful example of how Claus captured the effects of sunlight in his choice of colours: the whitish grey of the snow and ice is 'illuminated' by shades of pink, which acquire a wintry darkness in the background. The city council of Ghent bought this canvas as early as 1892, for the museum, setting a precedent for the recognition of Impressionism in Flanders.


H: 148,5 cm
W: 205 cm


Oil on canvas