Fringes of reeds, pollard willows, glittering ice, a waterway: Hermanus Berserik (1921-2002) paints a typical Dutch winter scene, as something of a contemporary Hendrick Avercamp (1585-1634). However, his work omits the 17th-century crowds having fun on the ice. Berserik opts for a sober scene in mu
...ted winter colours, with a solitary ice skater. This so-called ‘back figure’ draws the viewer into the painting, your eyes naturally follow the ice skater’s gaze, towards the horizon with the Zaandam windmill.
His left skate is off the ice, frozen in the landscape. It’s exactly as Berserik puts it: ‘All I look for is peace, balance, a little poetry’.
Text: Boris Ariaens, guide and museum host